JHARSUGUDA: Thirty four year old Mamta Jagat lives in Banjari village of Jharsuguda along with her husband, three school going children and in-laws. Her husband is a government school teacher. She always had a desire to be self-reliant and venture out on her own. What she lacked was the initial pluck and the know-how to take charge of her destiny.
It was here that Subhalaxmi Cooperative played a pivotal role in transforming her life. Formed in September 2008, under Vedanta Aluminium’s flagship CSR livelihood project- Vedanta Integrated Jana Jivika Yojana (VIJJY), in the district of Jharsuguda, Orissa it has become a game changer in lives of rural men and women who have the spark in them to do something new in life. At Subhalaxmi, Mamta learned that her dreams can be fulfilled as the Cooperative not only was willing to lend her money but more importantly train and hone her skills under expert supervision.
Mamta made up her mind to avail a loan from Subhalaxmi Cooperative to start her mushroom business. Subsequently, she started attending the training programmes arranged by Subhalaxmi on aster mushroom cultivation. Mamta got a loan of five thousand rupees sanctioned immediately after the training and started farming in the backyard of her house. As she dealt with a few teething troubles, the Cooperative sent out a team of District Horticulture department to visit her and provide requisite inputs.
Guidance on market linkage was also given. The profit was highly satisfactory. “I earned around Rs.1000/- per week by selling my yield in the market and earned good money within four months.” A proud and beaming Mamta says, “ I thank Vedanta Aluminium’s CSR efforts for not only enhancing my entrepreneurial skills but also instilling in me a sense of belief that women can find their space on earth no matter whatever circumstances they may be in’’.
From being a demure housewife in a conservative middle class family to becoming a successful mushroom cultivator, she has indeed come a long way. Considering her passion and skills, the family has been extending full support for her venture. Her articulate attitude and ability of quick learning has not gone unnoticed and so Subhalaxmi Cooperative is now using her as a resource person to train and motivate novice women micro-entrepreneurs. An honoured Mamta speaks, “being in a privileged position, I strongly feel it is my responsibility to show others the right way to go ahead with their dreams”.
Mamta Jagat has become a beacon and a source of inspiration for other women waiting in the wings to grow and “mushroom”.