Prabha Devi: My name is my License

Prabha Devi: My name is my License

Prabha Devi, VLSC owner, Gumla, Jharkhand

Prabha Devi, a mother of a two and a half year old boy child exclaimed

Kendra chalane se humko bahut khushi milte hai, ab apne betey ko hum log private school me bhej payenge

I really feel happy running this centre as now we can send our children to private school.

She married Nilu Singh three years back who was the only earning member of a family of seven people and their annual family income was not more than Rs. 10000 which was not sufficient. The only source of income was seasonal agriculture which includes paddy and some amount of pulses. As stated by Nilu Singh the family does not have cultivable land (low land) for agriculture. The only thing they could do that time was to curse their destiny as the family has got a paralyzed sister (disabled lower limbs) who needs special emotional support, care and treatment.

In 2014, Udyogini started its Lac value chain intervention in Gumla village through mobilization and awareness building for Lac cultivation as well as for opening new VLRAC in partnership with PACS. Prabha Devi with a mix emotion of faith and fear, showed her interest to start a VLRAC at her premise. After passing through the required parameters, she received a capsule training under Udyogini School of Entrepreneurship at Ranchi.

The Gender Enterprise Development Training (through play way methods, case studies, role plays and skits) enabled Prabha to understand entrepreneurship, learn gender sensitive and responsive intricacies, to run an enterprise, in a patriarchal ecosystem. Udyogini supported her in getting a loan at a minimal rate of interest from a social investor organization and she invested Rs. 5000 additional to start the VLRAC. Initially she started with items like grocery, stationary, cosmetics and others as there were no retail shops in the area. Later she has started aggregating Paddy at her VLRAC and then selling it to block level market player.

In her first attempt, she aggregated approximately 550 kgs of paddy at her VLRAC which has fetched her profit of around Rs. 1500. In a very short span of time she started earning profit of Rs. 750-800 per month (excluding the monthly repayment of loan). In terms of Prabha Devi she can now bargain with the trader because she has got the desired scale and quality with her. Similarly in a very short span of time she has started earning a profit Rs. 3000 per month. To increase the foot fall at her shop, Prabha Devi has started sewing garments for ladies. The future plan of Prabha Devi is to own a Flour mill as an additional service to be provided through VLRAC.

Smilingly she says that –“Kendra ka board mein mera naam likha hai jiskoki hum license kitara histemaal karte hai….isko sirf gharki didik chalayegi”- this VLRAC is named after my name and I use it as a license to convince people who say that why are you running an enterprise being a female.

The concept of writing woman’s name on the board has targeted prevalent gender issue in the society where a man is considered as the only bread winner for the family and woman as care taker of the family but not earner, a theme we explore in our GJM Training . Even her husband agrees and uses the license to disarm the gender biased tugging to him by his family and community members.

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