Farm labourer to bizwoman: Sitaben’s journey creates buzz at 'Aadi Mahotsav'

Sitaben, a single mother proved that all it takes to succeed is hard work, dedication, and not necessarily formal education.
Sitaben at the 'Aadi Mahotsav'. (Photo | Special Arrangement)
Sitaben at the 'Aadi Mahotsav'. (Photo | Special Arrangement)

AHMEDABAD: The inspiring tribal entrepreneur from Gujarat demonstrated what can be accomplished with the right effort and dedication.

Sitaben - a courageous tribal woman from Gujarat – set the bar high for aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere by showcasing her business prowess at 'Aadi Mahotsav' at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

She proved that all it takes to succeed is hard work, dedication, and not necessarily formal education. While Vajirbhai Kochhadia is an inspirational example of how rural Gujaratis can achieve success with the right skill set, perseverance, and dedication.

Sitaben belongs to Saputara in the Dang district of Gujarat. She used to work as a farm labourer, she shouldered the responsibility of taking care of her family of five members, including her alcoholic husband, who subsequently passed away.

The journey of Sitaben from a worker to an entrepreneur is intriguing and motivational. She started her journey as business women by making various millet biscuits, such as chakri, papad, and others.

Sitaben's products quickly gained a huge following and now are sold in Gujarat and throughout India.

From February 16 to February 27, 2023, Delhi is hosting the Aadi Mahotsav celebration, where Sitaben passionately displayed her millet biscuits. To her complete astonishment, her merchandise at this event was so well-liked that it sold out in just the first two days.

PM Modi at the 'Aadi Mahotsav'. 
PM Modi at the 'Aadi Mahotsav'. 

Sitaben was one of the entrepreneurs who met with the PM during the inauguration of Aadi Mahotsav.

Sitaben recalls her meeting with the PM saying - "I told him my friends would ask whom I had met in Delhi and he smiled and take a photograph with him" talking about her small business, Sitaben said "Now I am able to earn 15,000 to 20,000 rupees a month and taking care of my family. I am now a proud member of the Dangi Adivasi Mahila Khedut Utpadak Producer Company Ltd's Board of Directors."

Another example of a person with competence, guts, and determination is Vajirbhai Kochhadia. In the Bharuch district's Hathakund village, he manufactures a variety of bamboo goods. His family as whole manufacture and markets bamboo goods. He was successful in selling bamboo goods worth more than Rs 2 lakhs in 2019.

"With the help of Gujarat Vans Kala Udhyog" for training us villagers, we are now able to sell and manufacture our product across India," Vajirbhai recalls. "We also received training from the Aagakhan Trust, and our sales of bamboo products have increased."

These two businesspeople from Gujarat’s districts of Dang and Bharuch are just a couple of the many successful examples of small tribal entrepreneurship.

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