Sports did not get her – entrepreneurship did
Limited resources and orthodox societal ideas can make starting up as a woman in small towns and communities a tough task. ETASHA gives hope to such women who are yet to realise their potential, and skills them to become professional entrepreneurs. One such woman is Saroj who decided to re-write her destiny.
Saroj from Janouli, Haryana would have been a big name in the field of sports, if only her dreams weren’t nipped in the bud with an early marriage.
With two sons now, she has once again dared to dream and decided to work for a play school in the transport department. However, with lockdown her job too came to a halt with no source of income and two children to feed and take care of. Around the same time she heard of ETASHA’s production centre, giving opportunities to women to get trained as entrepreneurs and stand up on their own feet. The centre was training women in making namkeen (savouries). Barely two and a half months of training with ETASHA, and Saroj picked up the skill of making namkeens, read basic Hindi and is also a part of a special adult literacy programme run by ETASHA. “I was always shy to go out and talk to people by ETASHA’s training has given me a lot of confidence and today, I can talk to people confidently and even go to a bank and deposit money. And the most surprising thing is that now people ask me how much I am able to earn what can they to be like me,” says a proudly beaming Saroj.
Saroj’s resilience and determination helped her overcome the family’s financial condition at a very critical phase when lockdown could have caught them in a very bad situation. “I want my business to grow and therefore I hold discussions with women of my group on how we can make the namkeen better and reach out to newer markets,” she adds. There are many women out there clueless about their life and prospects. ETASHA’s Women Entrepreneurship Programme is a small way to financially empower such women.