They Are Undeterred & Strong. They Are The Rural Women Entrepreneurs Of Gujarat
Sitting in the railway train as I looked out of the window pane, I could see the whole landscape bathed in the warm glow of the rising sun. It was 7:00 a.m. The trees swayed gently in the breeze and water in the lake was glistening. The breath-taking scenery was captivating. I couldn’t help but feel elated. The train was heading towards the quaint old town of Dhrangadhra. Immersed in the picturesque scene, my mind slowly started drifting into thoughts; thoughts about how the Milaap Fellowship had made me come across people; all sorts of them from various walks of life. And how this fellowship had introduced me to a myriad of situations. Rural Gujarat is dotted with stories; stories of women who are extremely industrious and have gone through a lot in their lives. But that hasn’t dampened their spirits. Rather that has made them more determined to establish a stable livelihood in order to provide a better and bright future to their children. The potential and sheer number of micro businesses in Gujarat that these women run is incredibly remarkable.[caption id="attachment_5043" align="aligncenter" width="900"] There are 3 million women-owned businesses in India, employing over 8 million people[/caption]Rinu Yadav, a woman of great strength and entrepreneurial qualities from Chandkheda, a district in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, runs an artificial jewelry business, selling the local ‘Bagasra’ jewelry. Her father-in-law suffers from severe health issues. Rinu, who is a compassionate and loving homemaker knows how to take care of her family along with running her business successfully. With her loan from Milaap, she not only expanded her business further, but with the profits, she also opened savings account for her children. She strongly wants them to be well educated. Rinu is now able to save Rs. 4000 on a monthly basis and she intends to add readymade garments to her inventory.[caption id="attachment_5044" align="aligncenter" width="866"] Rinu Yadav: A successful entrepreneur[/caption]Rinu’s tale of success undoubtedly inspired me. There are a lot of other women like Rinu who are running various innovative businesses such as selling bamboo made products, decorating fabrics with embroidery, running provisional stores and beauty parlors, dairy business and tailoring. All that these women need is some help. Better support to help them unleash their potential could make a serious dent in the unemployment figures.Pondering about it, I realized I had already reached my destination and the sun had climbed towards its zenith. Lifting my bags, I could not keep still and headed outside, eagerly waiting to meet more such women in this little town, adding more tales to my trunk of memories.