SANGAREDDY: They used to get Rs 200 to Rs 300 for rolling beedis or working in agriculture farms all day long. The meagre earnings could not even meet their daily household expenses. But now smiles are appearing on their faces. It is because of the help of the bankers and the initiative of the officials of the State government and the people’s representatives who advised them to become producers and traders.
Those who were once daily labourers are now trading in pulses. As the market is flooded with sub-standard pulses, they have now formed into Srivalli Mahila Sangam in Mittapally village in Siddipet district and are selling quality pulses.
The Mahila Sangham collects raw red gram, green gram, black gram, and Bengal gram available in their and surrounding villages, processes them into fine pulses and sells them in the market.
With the encouragement and support of Finance Minister T Harish Rao, the six-member women’s association has set up a food processing unit and is running it successfully.
They first converted red gram into pulses and began selling them. They have already saved up to Rs 2 lakh. Impressed with their initial success, Mittapally village sarpanch Vanga Lakshmi donated Rs 1 lakh as her contribution. Harish Rao spoke to the bankers and secured a loan of Rs 10 lakh for the association. Of the total Rs 13 lakh, they invested Rs 3 lakh in buying machinery for converting beans into pulses, packing covers, and other tools. The rest of the money was used in buying red gram from farmers in the village at Rs 5,800 per quintal. They also began buying from the surrounding villages.
Now, farmers go to Mittapally to sell their produce instead of Siddipet as they can save on transportation costs. Lakshmi, president of Srivalli Mahila Sangham, which manufactures and sells pulses, told The New Indian Express that they have received a loan assistance of Rs 26 lakh from the bank in two phases.
“We have repaid Rs 16 lakh so far. Apart from buying the machinery, we are buying raw materials with the loan amount. Since the time we started the mill, we have bought about 800 quintals of raw material and converted it into 567 quintals of pulses,” she said.
Lakshmi says there is a good demand for quality pulses that they are making in the Siddipet market as well as in Hyderabad.
She said apart from that, Balavikas from Warangal district purchased 40 to 50 quintals of pulses at a time.
“Every month we pay up to Rs 40,000 to the bank as installments for the loan taken. Very soon we will clear the entire loan and the machinery will become ours,” she said.
Bolstered by success of their venture, Lakshmi said that they have stopped worrying about their future. “We are very happy that another women’s group is now making and selling chilli and turmeric powder inspired by our initiative.”
The women’s group members said that the turnover of the mill was Rs 1.5 lakh per month in the first days of its opening, but now it has shot up to Rs 2.5 lakh. During the rainy season, the mill runs for a shorter duration. To compensate for the loss of business, they roll beedis and go for agriculture work.