Mani chose to become a small time entrepreneur by churning out ‘appadalu’ (papad) and managed to clear debt to the tune of Rs. 3 lakh

It’s an inspiring tale of a 28-year-old woman who relied on her self-esteem to take charge of her life.

To clear debts and to gain financial freedom, Mani chose to become a small time entrepreneur by churning out ‘appadalu’ (papad) and managed to clear debt to the tune of Rs. 3 lakh.

“Financiers knocked at my door every day for repayment of loans. Pushed to the wall, I launched a small unit of making vadiyalu (crisp round-shaped snacks prepared with rice, dal etc),” she recalls.

Her husband Shiva was an auto driver and his meagre earnings were insufficient to run the family. “I would spend sleepless nights worrying about financial problems. But now, I am able to provide work to a few others,” she says with a smile.

A resident of Ramalingeswara Nagar, Mani admits that there were teething problems. “Today, I earn at least Rs.15,000 a month by selling appadalu and vadiyalu. This income helps us in meeting our financial commitments,” she informs.

Mani’s ‘appadalu’ and ‘vadiyalu’ have been travelling as far as Tirupati, Khammam, Rajahmandry, Kakinada for the last three years.

L. Laxmi of Kanuru is yet another budding entrepreneur who established a small unit of snacks, a move that provides work to half-a-dozen women. The business is paying rich dividends as orders pour in from caterers, hoteliers and families.

The fried and crispy snacks are popular in this region. Since most people these days have no time to prepare them at home, they get them from people like Mani and Laxmi.

The women dish out at least 25 varieties in different flavours. “These snacks, weighing from 250 grams to 5 kg, are packed in plastic covers and should be stored in a steel utensil to be able to relish them after frying in hot oil,” says Ms. Mani.

The ongoing marriage season has contributed to an increase in sales. “We receive party orders now and then. As ours is a new unit, we try to promote the products by personally interacting with clients,” says Ms. Laxmi. Using rice flour, ‘saggubiyyam’ (sago) and urad flour, ‘appadalu’ and ‘vadiyallu’ can be made with different flavours. The cost of 250 grams packaged snack is Rs.60 and the price increases based on quantity, she adds.

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