Dreaming with Maa Annapurna Masala
Anjana is a resident of Gumanpura Village in Rajasthan. She lives with her 2nd husband, a 10-year-old Son, and in-laws. After the sudden demise of her 1st husband in 2015 due to a prolonged illness, she was pressured by her family to get remarried to her younger brother-in-law. Two years after her marriage to her 2nd husband, he suffered an ailment and is bedridden since the first wave of the pandemic. Being a daily wage earner, he couldn't make up for any savings, hence, to continue affording his treatment and managing the household expenses became tough for Anjana. Even she could not afford to send her son to school.
Seeking the opportunity to improve her child's life and family conditions, Anjana, a housewife solely concerned with domestic duties till then, suddenly faced with the prospect of becoming the breadwinner in her family and decided to step out of the house. She joined a local SHG in her village, which she got to know from her neighbor. The SHG is run by a group of 15 women supported by Gram Chetna Kendra, and they could save up to Rs 100 a week by doing local work. This was enough for her to start a journey towards earning.
Still, things were not easy because she could not fund her husband's treatment and her son's studies. She also decided to explore other groups in her village and finally landed up in one group working with the AU Foundation's Udyogini program. Anjana along with her fellow women decided to approach the Udyogini program of Masala making and hence with the help of GCK held the meeting with Foundation people to commence a business involving spices (making and selling coriander, chili, and turmeric powder) under the Sustainable Livelihood Through Group Activity initiative). The activity excited the women and hence they decided to be a part of it. Soon they developed a business plan for preparation and marketing activities of Masala. They spent some extra hours developing their skills in spices production and the use and maintenance of machinery. They also learned the know-how of banking, digitalization, accounting business, and marketing.