From 'Displaced' to Inspirational
April 2008; Kesha Pariyar, a micro-entrepreneur and chairperson of National Micro-enterpreneurs Association takes pride in not only being able to earn her living and looking after the whole family but also being able to become a symbol of inspiration for other women in her community.
Coming from a Dalit community and a mother of six daughters, Kesha had to go through a lot of hardships to be where she is today. Kesha started her career after the UNDP Micro-enterprise Development Programme provided her tailoring training in Khanigoan village, Parbat district. The village is largely dominated by ruling castes and `Pariyars' are considered as untouchables.
After the training, Kesha was provided some support by the Programme to buy a sewing machine. Slowly her skill and hardwork attracted more clients and she was able to repay the loan that she took for the machine. Subsequently with her earnings and expansion of clientele, Kesha was able to educate and marry-off her daughters. She is now employing four other women and earns Rs. 400-500 per day with her tailoring business.
Today, Kesha does not have to go asking for business from door to door but she gets clients at her door step. She gets paid in cash and not food-grains as she used to get earlier. Her new income allowed her husband to return from India and join the family to start his own tailoring business. Three years later,
she was unanimously elected, first as the Chairperson of District Micro-enterpreneurs Association and after two years at the national level.
The International Women's Day celebration was jointly organised by the UN agencies on the theme of 'Investing in women and girls'. On the occassion,
Honourable Minister for Finance, Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, Chief Guest of the event, felicitated two women entrepreneurs as inspiring models for other womenentrepreneurs.
On the occassion of the International Women's Day, 8 March, speaking in front of a large audience inside the UN House, Kesha said, 'it is necessary for women and girls to be educated. Money invested in women and girls will generate more resources'. She further emphasized that encouragement from family is necessary for any woman to progress further.