By Capt. Indraani Singh Managing Trustee and Sohit Yadav Project Manager
Name of Beneficiary: Malabati
Project Location: Lowakui West Bengal
Little Malabati was born in the year 1998 in a small tribal family at Puruliya, lowakui village. Malabati has brothers and sisters. Her father is a seasonal farmer but does not own any land. Mother is also doing farming during agriculture season. They are 5 members family – staying in a mudhut in the village. Her family members are also doing hunting honey, woods in forest. Her parents always dreaming that their children will do something in near future after completion of study. They had admitted both her elder brother and her in a nearby school. Both of them are studious and admitted in a nearby school. Malabati had completed primary standard with very good result. Even her parents had dream to place them in higher studies, their livelihood and economic crises pushed them to make their children drop out. Earlier Malabati used to come to the Literacy India’s learning centre. It was Pathshala’s teacher and coordinator initiative that she readmitted in school. Both teacher and Literacy India’s Coordinator visited their home and saw the financial constrain. She got support from Literacy India for her higher study. She had admitted in Bundwan Girls School with hostel facilities. She is in class VIII standard. She is aspiring to be Nurse in future. She likes her own school and she was praised by her teachers and other classmate as very cooperative and cordial person. The hostel superintendent also is very fond of her.
Basumati Singh Mura was born in the year 2000. Her parents are marginal farmer in the field. She was admitted in Baghmundi Girls High school. While she completed her primary class she was forced to drop her study. Her family has only earning person – her father. Mother is also helping her father, however, does not get equal payment. Basumati was very keen to study. It was again regular visit by Literacy India’s staff to her house who were able to convince her parents for her readmission. Baghmundi High school refused to accept this child for readmission in the middle of the session. She was at that time admitted in the Burrabazar Girls High School with hostel facility. At present she is studying that school. She likes mathematics as subject and she would like to be a teacher.
Name of Beneficiary: Pabitra Maya Khawas
hails from one of the most unheard of places namely as Chuikhim at Darjeeling district in West Bengal.. Chukhim is a beautiful, unexplored village in the arduous terrian of Darjeeling. She is a middle-aged, unmarried, enterprising woman living with her brothers. The living conditions at Chuikhim are appalling. She tried many things to sustain her livelihood, but nothing is sustainable in this far-flung place. Of late, Chkhim is turning into quite a tourist spot. Remote as it is, food and lodging of the tourists was somewhat difficult there. Pavitra Khawas saw the opportunity and started her homestay business 7 years back. She is an first-rate cook, well-behaved and her homestay is neat, clean and hygenic. The room is strikingly well laid-out. Sadly, due to the lack of demand, the business did not kick off. It was Literacy India, who helped her to grow her business with a proper sustainable model.
Name of Beneficiary: Chandramoni Khawas (Bhujel) is a middle-aged master craftsman of Chuikhim, Darjeeling, West Bengal, expert at making bamboo products. But he was not in a position to purchase basic instruments to cut or curve the bamboo to give it necessary shape. Literacy India under its programme helped him fulfill his wish. With the new set of instruments, he makes very good bamboo products. LI has helped him showcase his talent in a national level exhibition cum sale programme at the Ice skating rink, Kolkata organized by Fair Trade Forum India for first time in his life. Indeed a first that could at best be a distant dream without LI. As per Chandramoni, it was a life time achievement for him. The manager DIC, Jalpaiguri visited the stall at Ice Skating Rink and was amazed by his work. He invited Chandramoni to Jalpaiguri and gets an artisan card issued. He also arranged a stall for him in the Handicraft Fair at Milan Mela ground of Kolkata with the support of Food and lodging. Chandramoni says he is very grateful to Literacy India and wanted to show his will to stand as a successful business man in near future.
Name of Beneficiary: Tapasi Raha
Tapasi Raha belongs to a lower middle class family of Bongaon, 24 – Parganas (N), W.B. She always tries out something new and takes risk if they are for the better. She was married in 2001. Soon after the birth of her child, her husband expired in 2003 due to kidney failure.
Tapashi’s challenge in life started; however she did not give up. Since her childhood she had learnt knitting from her mother.She had always enjoyed knitting. She decided to expand the small-scale knitting work of her mother and brother. It was in 2006 that she joined Self Help Group, Prabhati, under Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana, Govt. of India. Her catching spirit facilitated the group members who also started wool knitting work, which was not at all the core competence of these people. She assured her own group members and other groups or individual women of neighboring area that training would be provided by her, and she would arrange 50% cost of basic equipment. Also, she would run for order and show them the path of sustainability.
Presently about 700 women in Bongaon and Bagda Block of 24- Parganas (N), W.B. is associated with this kind of work. It is now a cottage industry of the area. With LI’s help, Tapasi has scaled up the business and is now providing complete solutions or a range of woolen products to big clients. It helped her to form a brand ‘RAHA.S’ and come out as a true entrepreneur. Literacy India gives her the exposure at Ludhiana which enhances her insight and she has taken proper decision for way forward. During her initial days of business she has gone through domestic violence but now the picture has changed, she has the confidence with the support of Literacy India and she is changing the economic face of rural Bengal.