Revathi, Purathakudi Women's Self Help Group
"The success of the WomanCAN Tomato Jam has motivated more women to join us. When they saw us gaining financial independence through this, they were convinced" says Revathi, a 49 year old homemaker turned entrepreneur. She is a part of the 13 member strong Purathakudi Women's Self Help Group that is bringing in sweeping changes in the village.
"After joining the group we recieved saplings from VOICE trust to grow organic tomatoes. We made jam out of it and sold it across the locality using a manned vehicle. We also sold our product through RK tea stall," says Revathi with a proud smile. Her resourcefulness during the pandemic knew no bounds. She along with the other members of the team prepared tomato jams, undertook the packaging and distribution. "The main issue faced by us now is that our jam lasts for only a couple of days as it is free of preservatives. Also, since it is produced from organic tomatoes using natural methods, the quantum produced is small. We are planinng to gear up the production in future and our ultimate goal is to produce enough to meet the growing demand " she quips with a hopeful face.
The sleepy village of Irungallur of Mannachanallur Taluk in Trichy now wakes up to the hustle of these women entreprenuers who have created value added products out of Tomatoes. The crop was otherwise sold for pittance in the market. With the support and training from VOICE Trust, they learned the art of organic farming and creating products like jams, vadakam and pickles. The tomato vadakam is already a hit among the kids. They have started collecting a monthly contribution of Rs 50 from each members for upscaling the WomenCAN project. They look forward to learning more and getting further support from VOICE trust, for this project provided them with the much needed financial agency and independence. They started small; for life was getting increasingly difficult with each passing day during the pandemic.Mustering courage to start out was the biggest challenge. They have come a long way and now there is no looking back.
Tomato saplings distributed among the women
When they sat about brainstorming ideas
Tomato saplings distributed among members
Regular meetings are a must for the group