Overcoming challenges provides meaning to life

Case study of Ms. Putalibai from Gulbarga – Food products

"I don't have dis-ability, I have a different-ability." Robert M. Hensel

She is a very enthusiastic, multifaceted and hard-working lady. She has studied up to SSLC, is a skilled tailor and has learnt to use computers. She has a talent in accounting and has experience working with a charted accountant even though she did not hold a formal degree. She utilized the opportunity to improve her knowledge in accountancy and learnt Tally. This on-the- job learner even landed up in the post of accounting assistant in an electronic company. Her networking skills helped her to bond with people and keep learning.

Putalabai Gulbarga Food ProductsAll these blessings of her life came with many obstacles for Ms. Putalibai, a native of Gulbarga. A physically disabled Putalibai was born in a poor family, lost both her parents at a very young age and grew up in the care of relatives who took her in. But none of these factors could thwart her zest for life. She nurtured the vision of starting her own food industry. She also wanted to support other women to setup their business and help them to become financially independent.

Putalibai came to know about Ni-MSME sponsored Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme being conducted by AWAKE at Gulbarga through a local news-paper and got enrolled for the programme. During the course of the programme, she was able to bring in the clarity on the nature of business she wanted to start. She decided to start flour manufacturing business. She learnt about business planning, maintaining product quality, packaging, labeling, branding and many other aspects which would help her in setting up her business in a professional way. She also got information related to the various financial and other supports provided by government departments and the hand-holding provided by AWAKE.

Putalibai invested Rs. 25,000/- to set up a flour manufacturing unit. She procures various cereals like jowar, rice etc., powders them and packs the flour. She then supplies it to various local outlets. For people who do not prefer to buy packed flour, she provides service of powdering the cereals they bring. Putalibai wants to increase her production from the current monthly 50 kgs and expand her business. She is applying for PMEGP loan.

Putalibai is also planning to start a pre-primary school. She wants to invest about Rs. 1.5 lakhs. Her experience working with a trust has motivated her to open the school. A marketing survey revealed that there were no English schools in that rural area, so she wanted to open a school for the poor people so that they could learn English. She plans to speak to a MP of her area to get his support for the school. Her future goal is to employ 20 people in need of financial assistance.

Ms. Putalibai, Gulbarga – Food products