Jamshedpur: Realizing the woman power and reaping it to the hilt, Sumi Baskey and Jayanti Soren not only embellished their own future but also brought smiles on many of those faces who otherwise would have been lost in the darkness of illiteracy and poverty.

The saga of this achievement is not of a great scholar but of two girls from a remote village Deoghar in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand who realized the value of the labour of rural women folk and brightened their destinies.

The women formed a self-help group ‘Hirla Jaaher Aayo Mahila Mandal’ whose women members not only practised vegetable, fruit and flowers farming but also made their own bank by the help of their small savings.

Collective labour led to change
The poor families of Deoghar were reeling under malnutrition, illiteracy and unemployment when Juhi Gupta, Director of ‘Pradhan’, a social organization, came as a ray of hope for the villagers. She motivated village women to bring about a change and advised Sumi Baskey and Jayanti Soren to from a self-help group. The organisation also arranged a guidance programme to train them in cottage industries leading Deoghar to a brighter future.

Vegetable farming

Determined to achieve the impossible, the women in Deoghar enriched the barren land of the village by growing vegetables for two years from 2007 to 2009. The exemplary example of women power, Sumi says, “We earned well by growing tomatoes, cucumbers, brinjals and other vegetables and marigold flowers but due to insufficient rainfall and lack of irrigation facilities, were forced to leave it. Now, by help of poultry farming and cottage industries, we are moving forward on the path of progress and prosperity.

Personal bank by small savings

Sumi and Jayanti encouraged women to make some savings on a daily basis. They were provided a passbook and cash book and a small box to collect their daily savings which on reaching a big amount were saved in the nearest Jharkhand Gramin Bank. In this way, they made their own bank which now boasts of having a cash of Rs 1,92,000. The members can apply for a loan on two percent interest per month in case of a need.

 JPN/Bureau