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Your tea-time is their lifeline

Renuka Phadnis
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Snacks made by women SHGs in demand in bakeries

Crunch on:A member of self-help group Maruti packaging crispy snacks for distribution in city bakeries, in Mangalore.— Photo: R. Eswarraj
Crunch on:A member of self-help group Maruti packaging crispy snacks for distribution in city bakeries, in Mangalore.— Photo: R. Eswarraj

In the warm humid air of an April morning in Mangalore, A. Hari and Shelvi were frying appams in sizzling oil, bent over two stoves at home in Monkey Stand area of the city. They also fry dry extruded snacks, sourced at wholesale rates from Bunder, and sell them to bakeries.

“We have brought up our family of four daughters and a son by selling the snacks for the past 15 years,” says Shelvi.

Hari prepares the snacks and takes them in an autorickshaw to bakeries along different routes in Mulki, Moodbidri, B.C. Road, Bantwal, Kuppala, Thokkotu, Ullal, Mudipu and Mangalore.

Shelvi helps in preparing and packing the snacks and, in her spare time, crafts ‘bathies’ (cotton wicks for lamps).

To meet the expenses to run the business and for many of the family’s expenses, she borrows money from Shri Manjunatha self-help group, (SHG), supported by Canara Organisation for Development and Peace (CODP), where she has been a member for the past three years. She has taken a loan of Rs. 20,000, and pays back Rs. 1,100 every month. She has paid for the last 10 months and said there has been no problem in returning the money.

Hemalatha Chidananda Jalligudde, Animator for SHGs, CODP, said that CODP has 700 SHGs of which 70 are in the city. Five of them are area-based within Mangalore, where members, all women, make snacks to supply shops. The others are Shri Raghavendra in Pandeshwara with 12 members, and two SHGs in Thokkotu, Sri Vignesh SHG with 10 and Sri Gowri SHG 12 members.

In all of them, members save Rs.100 each and add to the corpus. In Pragathi SHG, all of them live in the same row of houses.

Of the 11 houses in a row in Thandana Babu Compund in Monkey Stand, women from six houses belong to the same SHG, which has a total of 13 members. The SHG has a corpus of Rs. 33,800.

The maximum amount for a loan is Rs. 5,000 and all the members have taken loans to meet expenses such as sending children to school, for work and meeting business needs. The members borrow sums of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000.

Sumathi, president of Pragathi SHG, is a beautician while Jayanthi, does embroidery and Nisha manages sales in a bakery in Kankanady. Hemanthi rolls beedis , Bhavani works in the housekeeping section of an automobile office in the city, and Chanchalalakshmi cooks in a students’ hostel.

The SHGs have accounts with banks that are close to them and are from Vijaya Bank, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) and Karnataka Bank, she said.

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