Empowered women entrepreneurs of Pakuwa village
February 2008; Women from Pakuwa village, Pratibha and Nawabihani community organisation (CO) in Parbat district say, 'Earlier we were shy even to tell our names to a visitor but now we are able to present our achievements with pride.We have been able to take part in income generating activities. It gives us a sense of satisfaction to be able to spend our earnings to look after our family.'
Duba Poudel says, 'out of the loan that I took from the community organisation, I bought two goats. Gradually I made 21 goats out of these. With the profit I was able to educate my two daughters and was also able to marry them off.'
Similarly, Bhima Devi's old life has improved with the profit she makes out of her coffee business. 'This is a seasonal business but I am able to make approximately Rs. 10,000 annually out of my coffee business', says she. Her coffee is sold in nearby local markets and Pokhara (tourist destination).
These simple and uneducated women have been exposed to opportunity with the implementation of Village Development Programme supported by the Decentralized Local Governance Support Programme of UNDP co-funded by the Government of Norway.
The women of the village have learnt that they can do a lot with organisation, saving and skill-the three basic components of social mobilisation. The women are able to present their savings and investment account. The women have set a dress code for themselves for CO meetings. The whole village is very particular about health and sanitation. Every ward in the village has a health volunteer. Recently they built a hall for community organisation meeting.
Many members are earning a good amount of money with iron utensil business and bamboo craft business.They earn around Rs. 25,000 a year. Proudly they declare, 'we have plans of incorporating the men's sub-committee into ours so that we can work as a team and look for more income generating opportunities.'
Facts and Figures
Total internal saving of the two community organisations : Rs. 60,000
Cumulative Investment: Rs. 195,000
Area of Investment: Livestock, Agriculture (vegetables and cash crops), small business, cottage industries
Completed Infrastructures: irrigation, school, community building
Social activities: building toilets,foot trail, literacy classes, plantation, repair and maintenance of irrigation canal