by BISMumbai Correspondent

DRISTI Kapadvanj has been involved in training women in various skills for business entrepreneurship or income generation activities since the last 04 years in the Kapadvanj Block of Kheda District, Gujarat. This June-end, with financial assistance from the Kapadvanj Kelavni Mandal [KKM], DRISTI procured 03 cotton-wick making machines to enable the SHG women to work from home!

Father Mayank Parmar-Director DRISTI says, "Over the last year, in 2019, DRISTI had organised a training programme on making cotton-wicks as part of the income generation activity. The SHG women who underwent the training procedure, were interested in pursuing this way of earning a livelihood. Since each unit was amounting to Rs. 37, 500/-, the women couldn't make this investment. However, having followedup and ascertaining their seriousness, DRISTI felt it had to intervene."

Accordingly a proposal was submitted to the Kapadvanj Kelavni Mandal, with the request to financially assist with the procurement of 03 cotton-wick making units and also raw cotton.KKM agreed to the proposal and also volunteered to hand-hold the women in the process, assisting with initial payment. Subsequently 03 units and the raw cotton was procured from Ahmedabad. On 29 June, the machines were installed at Daana village in the Kapadvanj Block, where 09 women work in shifts to make cotton-wicks. The Aradhya Group of Home Industry based at Ahmedabad is supplying the raw cotton and will collect the cotton-wicks once a week.

Father Parmar says, "If anyone works for a minimum 06 to 08 hours per day, either continuously or with breaks, even with an average speed, they are able to make minimum 03 kg cotton-wicks. This means she earns Rs. 210/- per day, sitting at home. This is the new-normal. With people getting unemployed and with no source of income, perhaps this Work-from-home will help this poor women to sustain their families with the income."

The women are very enthusiastic and now having got the machines installed in their village, are eager to produce as many cotton-wicks as possible. SHG Leader Ramilaben Vankar, animatedly says, "this is such an added boost for us women who are part of the SHGs run by DRISTI. All this time with the lockdown, we had no work or income, but now we have something to look forward to. Also, we will be getting regular income." Babubhai, husband of Ramilaben adds, "this will help our women to generate more income for the house and financial support will be created by this business.