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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-47: THE ENTERPRISING WOMEN OF MOLUGAPALLI!

When the APRLP watershed programme was introduced the NGO called MYRADA helped to form seven self-help groups in Molugapalli village. As a part of the livelihoods programme which was initiated in most of them, about fifty women were trained for tailoring jobs. They were taken to Bellary on an exposure visit to study how to run small units successfully. There they were also shown a leaf plate making machine, vermicelli making machine, fl our mills and jeans/garment manufacturing industry.

As twenty women had shown a keen interest in the jeans manufacturing industry, MYRADA organised a meeting of the village organisation to discuss the matter. The investment required for setting up a unit was Rs.1, 50,000. The village organisation and MYRADA members approached the Project Director, DRDA for assistance. He sanctioned Rs.75, 000 and for the balance amount, twenty members took a loan of
Rs.5, 000 each. With a total of Rs.1, 75,000 they started their unit on 21 May 2006 and christened it ‘Tulasi Jeans Garment’. They purchased machines worth Rs.54, 000, cloth for Rs.60, 000 and spent Rs.15, 000 on other material. 

They needed someone who knew how to cut and stitch jeans, so they called in an expert from Bellary at a salary of Rs.3, 000 per month for six months. During this time they acquired the skill for themselves. Initially, until they had perfected the skill, they purchased cheap cloth. From December 2006 onwards they started stitching jeans independently. Till today they have manufactured 36 cotton pants, 190 terry-cot pants, 46 jeans, 84 pants with some new materials and 90 bags. All this is worth Rs.75, 000.

They are marketing these pants and garments with the help of the self-help groups in nearby villages and towns/cities. Though their village is 60 KMs from Bellary where there are a number of jeans/garments making units and it was difficult for the women to sell their products, they have expressed the hope that they will be able to sell them in the districts and make a profit. The District Collector and several other officials have appreciated the Molugapalli women’s group for establishing the jeans/garment making unit and have promised to give them the order to stitch the uniforms for hostel students in the district.

The members of self-help groups in Molugapalli have proved that there is nothing that women cannot do.

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