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Sakhi Mandal workers of Ranchi make living on their own

Punam Khalkho, 25, was just a housewife before she joined a Sakhi Mandal  (Women Self Help Groups), in her village Mudpiri under Burmu Block of Ranchi.

Published: 24th May 2020 11:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2020 11:00 AM   |  A+A-

Around 2.3 lakh Sakhi Mandals consisting of over 29 lakh women are playing a key role in the makeover of the rural landscape of the state

Around 2.3 lakh Sakhi Mandals consisting of over 29 lakh women are playing a key role in the makeover of the rural landscape of the state | express

JHARKHAND: Punam Khalkho, 25, was just a housewife before she joined a Sakhi Mandal  (Women Self Help Groups), in her village Mudpiri under Burmu Block of Ranchi. Now, she earns more than Rs 15,000 a month by making velvet pencils at her home. Sakhi Mandals, set up by the Rural Development Department, have brought together 29 lakh women by connecting through SHGs and enabled them to make a living of their own. In Sakhi Mandals, women are given some expertise by organising training camps and motivate them to contribute to the economy and be the participant of micro-finance. 

It has changed the lives of rural women living below the poverty line (BPL) and empowered them by connecting them through various livelihood opportunities. Sakhi Mandals, under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), has slowly and steadily emerged as a significant change-makers in terms of empowering the rural women and transforming their lives across the state.

“My life has changed entirely after joining Sakhi Mandal and I earn around `15-20,000 per month by making velvet pencils. This is all due to the government’s NRLM, under which I was trained for making velvet pencils and given a loan of `10,000 and `50,000 to purchase the machines required to start the venture. I take raw material from the company and sell the final product back to it for which I get 50 paise each piece,” says Poonam Khalkho. As her business started doing well, she has also hired two women from Sakhi Mandal. Also, she has opened a mobile repairing shop from the earnings.

Another SHG woman Anita Devi has also opened a cosmetic shop at Muslim Tola in Ranchi. “I joined the Sakhi Mandal in 2014 and took a loan of `7,000 in the beginning and started business at a small scale, but when it got the momentum, I again took a loan of ` 40,000 and opened a shop here and started earning `15-20,000 per month. With my earnings, I have also started a fish business for my husband and is earning more than `10,000 per month,” says Anita. 

Currently, around 2.3 lakh Sakhi Mandals consisting of more than 29 lakh rural women are playing a key role in the makeover of the rural landscape of the state. Women were first to be inducted into SHGs and given an opportunity to hone their skills according to their interest before providing financial support for starting their venture. “These rural women are not only coming out poverty after joining Sakhi Mandals under the Ajivika Mission in Jharkhand but are also pulling others out from poverty, says Rajiv Kumar, CEO of the Jharkhand Livelihood Promotion Society, a special purpose vehicle for livelihood promotion among rural families of Jharkhand. Kumar says due to the initiatives, most of the women connected with Sakhi Mandals are engaged in at least one source of livelihood.

Sakhi Mandals, set up by Rural Development Department, have changed the lives of lakhs of women living below the poverty line in Jharkhand villages and empowered them by connecting them through various livelihood opportunities, reports Mukesh Ranjan



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