“I want to establish agri-processing units to help sell agricultural produce at a better price.”
35-year-old Sangita Jadhav is practically a celebrity in Kherda, Osmanabad due to her dedication to social causes. With a network of over 500 women, she is confident of support from almost each household in the village.
Extremely optimistic and practical at the same time, Sangita has overcome personal crises and poverty, and knows that the condition of women in the villages is not very different from hers. She started as an agricultural wage worker to feed her family as her husband was an unemployed alcoholic.
After receiving rudimentary training in organic farming, Sangita began to cultivate agricultural produce at her farm and soon started to earn around Rs. 5000 to 6000 a week. She also helped her husband start animal farming and earn well. It is difficult to imagine that just two years ago, they were living in utter distress.
Sangita strongly believes that women like her become truly empowered when they become entrepreneurs, instead of farm hands. Sangita is committed to educating large numbers of women to access government schemes so as to promote entrepreneurship among women, a trait that exists but lays dormant in them.
Through the Fellowship, Sangita wants to become that bridge to lead women in need towards those schemes and lead them to establish individual or collective enterprises.
Sangita has a concrete idea for a collective enterprise – a grain and cereal mill. Most of the families from Kherda take their pulses grain (either home-grown or purchased) to a regular flour mill or they travel to nearby villages to a pulses mill where dal can be made. Once the grain and cereal mill that Sangita has in mind is established, people will not have to travel far.
Sangita has already mobilized a group of ten women ready to invest in this collective business, and the land is ready as well. Her personal relationships with the villagers will help the mill gain many customers. Sangita has several such business ideas for “women to create their own small agro businesses for food processing, so that they can sell that in market.”