During the Covid-19 pandemic last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the Vision of India — turning crisis into opportunity — as going to prove equally effective for our resolve of self-reliant India. A housewife from Additional District Bhadarwah in Jammu and Kashmir is converting the dream of Aatmanirbhar Bharat into the dawn of new hope.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the restrictions on commercial activities to contain the spread of Covid-19 has severely affected the lives of the common man during the lockdown or curfew. Many people lost jobs, most of the small local businesses lost their source of income and means to feed their families.
Madhu Kiran, 42, of village Monda became the sole bread earner of her family after her husband’s business got closed due to the pandemic.
In March last year, just as the pandemic hit, Madhu Kiran found her family in crisis. Her husband, who was running a small business that got closed. She was a housewife and the couple had three teenage children aged 15, 17 and 19 years to raise. “We had no savings and had our monthly expenses, the children’s school fees to pay,” said Madhu Kiran.
“I came to know about UMEED of NRLM (National Rural Livelihood Mission) and they helped me by providing interest-free loan and I started a small poultry business with just 500 hundred chicks which I gradually increased to 2,000,” said Madhu.
“Today I earn from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 a month and my entire family is happy as my husband also joined me in the business and we have also installed a grinder unit and my children are studying in a good college and reputed schools,” Madhu Kiran added.
The cluster coordinator of UMEED, Nadia Farooq, said that a majority of the world has got badly hit in terms of the economy by the Coronavirus pandemic, but the story is altogether different in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhadarwah Valley as the Union government’s NRLM is rapidly changing the lives of womenfolk of far-off areas by helping and motivating them to earn their livelihood by providing them easy loans and giving them technical help to become entrepreneurs in a small but very effective way.
Women are all praised by the government for initiating the NRLM and also their cluster coordinator Nadia Farooq who motivated them to join hands to make women empowered even in far-flung and inaccessible areas.