By Sundeep Pouranik
Bhopal, Sep 18 (SocialNews.XYZ) The 'Ajivika Mission' in Madhya Pradesh that aims to transform the lives of poor and weaker sections is writing a new success story.
The self-help groups (SHGs), constituted under the Madhya Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission (MPSRLM), have given opportunity to many women in the state to become small business owners from labourers. They are not just living a happy life, but are also showing a new path to their colleagues.
More than 45 lakh women, associated with over 3.86 lakh women SHGs, are working under MPSRLM or the state Ajivika Mission.
These groups are involved in vegetable production, milk production, incense sticks, hand wash, soap making, agriculture and animal husbandry based livelihood activities and operation of livelihood nutrition 'vatika'.
One of these SHGs is being run by Sunita Adivasi of Sheopur. Earlier, she used to earn a daily wage of Rs 30 to 50 as a labourer but today she became an owner. She joined a SHG and took a loan of Rs 70,000 to set up a flour mill.
The flour mill ran in such a way that she started earning over Rs 30,000 every month from it and repaid the loan amount.
Later, she took another loan of Rs 50,000 for farming related activities and got a tubewell installed. Not only this, she planted guava in 2.5 bigha of land, apart from this she has bought a four wheeler, which she calls 'Ajivika vahan' (livelihood vehicle).
Sunita Adivasi, while remembering her old days, recalls that once she had to worry for wages, but today she has become an owner and is earning more than Rs 70,000 every month. Her annual income is more than 10 lakhs.
Similar is the story of Kalia Bai Kushwaha of Sheopur's Karahal, who is associated with Radha SHG.
She says that when she joined the SHG, her life started transforming. Kushwaha recalls that in the past, on several occasions they (she and her family) could barely arrange meals in a day. Together she and her husband used to earn hardly Rs 150 per day.
Today the situation has changed. She took a loan and then bought a hand cart on which she started selling ice cream. Along with that she also bought a sewing machine. Gradually the situation changed and today she has become an owner.
Kushwaha says that about 450 women are associated with the SHG, out of which 300 were such women who used to go out in search of work, but today their conditions have changed. Women have also been given training in fish farming and are earning handsome money.
Overall, the status of women associated with SHGs working under MPSRLM is constantly transforming, making them owners from labourers and servants.