Tribal entrepreneurs get employment in Madhya Pradesh
Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh used to be the capital of the state before 1948. This small state survived the rule of the British, Mughals and Marathas due to its rocky terrain and less productive land. It is famous for Choolgiri and Bavanagja, the center of Jain pilgrimage. Barwani, situated in the south-west of Madhya Pradesh, has Satpura mountain range in the south and Vindhyachal mountain range in the north. Barwani, with a population of about 13 lakh, got the status of district in Madhya Pradesh on 25 May 1998.
By Ruby Sarkar, Bhopal (MP)
The literacy rate of this tribal dominated district is less than 50 percent. Due to being extremely backward, Barwani is also included in the 112 aspirational districts which were selected by the Central Government in the year 2014. But between the year 2014 and 2021, this district progressed so much that in the grading of State Niti Aayog, this district has become included in the top 10 prosperous districts of the state in the year 2021. A big reason for this is that along with agriculture, the youth here have started trying their hand towards micro industries.
In fact, the amount received under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Scheme has proved to be very useful for the youth to start their own business. Three tribals from the same district, Santosh Vasunia, Pawan and Lakshmi Vani, started their business by taking loan under this scheme and today they have become self-reliant. 44-year-old Santosh Vasuniya of Petlawad says, “When people were migrating from cities to villages during the Corona epidemic, one thing came to my mind that how will the livelihood of so many people survive? Because till that time there were no solid sources of employment in the village other than agriculture and labour. Villagers often migrated for employment. I was disturbed to see countless migrants returning to their villages in such a dejected manner. At that very moment I decided that it was better to secure my life by taking a loan from the government and starting a small business rather than doing low-paid work for survival.”
She tells that I have seen many ups and downs in my life, have faced many challenges, my father was an agricultural laborer in Jhabua. When she was just 4 years old, her father passed away. The mother had to leave her small children and go to work. Despite being bright, she had studied only till 10th class when she got married and came to Petlawad with her husband. Where gave birth to two children. Santosh says that she never despaired. The desire to be self-reliant never left him. No one in the family had any connection with business. As soon as the lockdown ended, she decided to open a cosmetics shop. Meanwhile, she came in contact with the Transform Rural India (TRI) Entrepreneurship Facilitation Hub team and with their help she started working towards business. Santosh invested Rs 1 lakh from his savings and started his business after receiving Rs 3.75 lakh as financial assistance under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Scheme (PMEGP). Now she has a successful shop dealing with cosmetics as well as refreshments etc. Due to which today she has not only become self-reliant but is also helping her family financially.
Like Santosh, the success of Pawan Jamre and Lakshmi Wani shows how much human potential exists in rural India. At a time when unemployment is at its peak, 20-year-old Pawan from Chitawal village of Rajpur block of Barwani has stepped forward as an entrepreneur. He comes from a small farmer family and has studied only till 8th standard. He says, “I started working as a daily wage laborer at an electronics shop near my village and used to earn around Rs 150 to 200 per day. Seeing my interest in electronics, Suman Solanki of TRI suggested me to participate in the mobile repairing training program from Rural Self-Employment Training Institute and also helped me in enrolling in it.” Now Pawan has his own mobile repairing shop. The Enterprise Facilitation Hub at Julwania, Barwani helped them participate in the Accelerated Entrepreneurship Development Program (AEDP) to empower their business. During the training, Pawan prepared his own business plan for the next 3 years and also obtained a loan.
The success of 30-year-old Lakshmi Wani also tells a similar story. She is a resident of Nevali village of Nevali development block of Barwani and belongs to OBC community. As is common in low-income rural families, Lakshmi studied only till class 11 and was married at an early age. As the wife of a daily wage laborer and mother of three children, she started looking for other sources of income. She says, “I participated in a campaign organized by TRI India’s Youth Hub team in Nevali village, where my interest towards entrepreneurship increased. “I knew the basics of computers and was already dreaming of running a Common Service Center (CSC).” The Youth Hub team, in collaboration with the Rural Self-Employment Training Institute in Barwani, enrolled Lakshmi in a six-day residential CSC ID Training and Certification Course. Now she is running her own CSC business. In this way, Lakshmi has not only become self-reliant but has also become a source of inspiration for other women of her village.
In this regard, Ranu Singh, Practitioner at Youth Initiative of Transform Rural India, says, “These success stories emphasize the importance of grassroots voluntary organizations that provide financial literacy to rural youth and women to start their own businesses. and also provide training, market research, product development and other necessary skills”. However, this success story of entrepreneurs from rural areas shows that the enthusiasm has spread to every village of the country. Rural India can also play an important role in the country’s economy. All that is needed is to show them the way. Prime Minister Employment Generation Scheme is proving to be an important link in this direction.
The author writes independently on issues related to deprived groups and women.
Courtesy : Dalit Dastak
Note: This news piece was originally published in dalitdastak.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Right