Nirmala Devi Pawar and 10 other women in Uttarakhand’s Bandasari village are selling flour, lentils, gram, buns juice and some other products. These women first collect the produce from the fields, clean them and make different things. Then, they are packed and sold to the passengers. Nirmala, 50, says that on some days her sales are so good that she gets a profit of up to Rs 2500.
There are about 100 more women here, like Nirmala, who are earning well in this way. All these women are from the five villages under the Bhadrigad range in the Uttarakhand Forest Department. The credit of increasing the livelihood of the women of these villages is credited to the meritorious Kirti, the forest range officer here. The 30-year-old Medhavi has launched an initiative called ‘Dhatri’ (Mother) for women’s empowerment. Through Dhatri, the income of these rural women has increased nearly 10 times. This initiative was launched in May 2020. Some of the women were assembled locally to make available organic, natural and chemical-free products from them.
Understood Women Of Troubles To:
The better india Talking to me, Medhavi said, “I was very young when I lost my father and all the responsibilities fell on my mother.” I have seen my mother working hard day and night so that I study well and because of her hard work, today I am a forest range officer. ”
She further says that she understands the problems of women, their hard work and their sacrifice. Therefore, she knew that it was very important to pursue women. “Four months after joining the service, I told the divisional forest officer, Kahakshan Naseem, and she agreed.” Then, we started training women with different skills. ”
First 25 women took training to make turmeric soap, cosmetics, incense sticks, medicinal plant oils, shampoos and other things from the raw materials found here.
According to Medhavi, “All agricultural produce such as rajma, pulses or cereals are organic and chemical-free. Because, many farmers cannot buy chemical fertilizers and pesticides here. In October, a store named ‘Dhatri’ opened and more than 100 products were placed here. ” Her initiative received a very good response. Rural women earned thousands of rupees during the Diwali season.
One of these women is Shalini Bhandari. She explains, “I sold incense sticks, idols and other things made from cow dung. Earlier the sales were low and I used to earn around 8 thousand rupees per month. But now my business is worth one lakh rupees. ” Shalini, 21, says the job is good because women do not have to go elsewhere for work. She further added, “Many women get married at a young age and they get busy with household chores. As such, they are unable to find opportunities to become financially independent. Many times men also refuse women to work. Therefore, this initiative is very helpful in making women financially independent. ”
One village From many The villages till:
The success of Dhatri soon spread to other villages and many women approached Meritorious to be a part of this initiative. Many women were approached by Medhavi and said that they also want to take training. Products manufactured by all the women of the village are sold under the brand ‘Dhatri’. In this entire process, the work of the forest department is limited to marketing and building a supply chain.
She says that it is not that such business models do not already exist. He stated “but never used on a collective and professional scale. Women sell Buryans juice, jam, and other food products on a smaller scale. However, they are not made with hygiene and do not know how to market their product in professional ways. But, with the increase in the skill of women, the level of work has increased and then the earnings have also increased. ”
She says that men in these villages have also become part of the Dhatri and are helping women in procuring raw materials and providing necessary support in production. Medhavi says that despite the renewed vigor and confidence, initially it was difficult to get women involved in the initiative. She said, “She was apprehensive about how successful this initiative would be.” They also suspected that tourists and villagers would like to buy their products! But our initial success has dispelled these fears. ”
Women are now making eco friendly plates with leaves. Also, are taking natural dye training from flower petals and leaves. Says Medhavi, “We have named the brand Tikri because, it is the name of the village from where the work started.”
Due to the efforts of the meritorious, all the people of the village now call him by the name of ‘Ranger Didi’. The Better India salutes the spirit of this female forest officer.