But nearly a year later, she is now earning Rs 600 per day, by weaving mats, for which she has a regular buyer. Her profit per mat is Rs 120.
“When Covid-19 was at its peak, I found it difficult to get the raw materials, but now all is well. I am finding a good market for my products,” said Pavitra.
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Bhagya Bai, another resident of the village, also echoed the same opinion. Bhagya Bai, who was engaged in Lambani embroidery works, and was able to weave two to three mats per day. “What surprised me was that officials arrived at our village, and helped us to install the machines. We have not even visited the bank branch to apply for a loan. Now, we have become self-employed,” she said.
Like Pavitra and Bhagya Bai, 102 women entrepreneurs, including 10 widows from Dhoddamudahally, Kolipalya, Mukanapalya, Bejjalapalya, Veerahnapura and Rangasandra villages of the Chamarajanagar taluk, have now become entrepreneurs under the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat initiative.
Among the beneficiaries, the remaining 8 are men. Among the total 110 beneficiaries, 105 are Scheduled Castes. They were extended financial aid by the Bank of Baroda, Venkatayyana Chatra branch, under the Mudra Shishu Scheme.
“A total 68 units are already functional. A total 40 units will start functioning in the next few days,” said Vijay Kumar Chourasia, AGM, SBI lead bank, Chamarajanagar.
“We took up this project in August and September 2020. Initially we had identified 20 beneficiaries. Now it has gone up to 110, as more and more people showed interest in our initiative. Compared to the production, now we have more demand for these weavers products in the market. We are expecting more orders in the coming days, with the International Yoga Day also around the corner,” said Chourasia, who is leading this initiative.
“We have more plans for these weavers, including more designs and products, to expand the market,” he said.
“Presently, these weavers are weaving yoga mats, towels and saris, which have high demand.
Chamarajanagar DC M R Ravi said transforming 110 women who are engaged in low-wage jobs into new-age entrepreneurs is a commendable job. “These villages will be developed into weavers villages, where all the facilities will be provided for weavers, besides making them a tourist hub,” he said.