Telangana

Tribal women take a leap into entrepreneurship

Tribal women of Dammakka joint liability group working at their soap making unit at the TSGCC divisional office in Bhadrachalam of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district.

Tribal women of Dammakka joint liability group working at their soap making unit at the TSGCC divisional office in Bhadrachalam of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district.   | Photo Credit: G. N. RAO

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Encouraged by the ITDA the women JLG sets up a soap, shampoo manufacturing unit

Capitalising on their rich legacy of handicraft tradition, a group of tribal women of Bhadrachalam Agency took a major leap into entrepreneurship by starting a soap and shampoo making unit in Bhadrachalam.

The enterprising move, backed by the Telangana State Girijan Co-operative Corporation (TSGCC), is aimed at leveraging the burgeoning demand for natural toiletries in the market.

The TGCC has helped as many as 15 tribal women from various parts of the Bhadrachalam Agency form into a joint liability group (JLG) named Dammakka Group and set up a soap manufacturing unit at an estimated cost of ₹ 40 lakh under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.

Special training

The members of the JLG have undergone training in a specialised institute in Hyderabad in making soaps with natural extracts of papaya, aloe vera and other plant based materials.

The initiative, an integral part of the aggressive growth strategy of the TSGCC, is aimed at augmenting income for tribal women and farmers besides providing a fillip to tribal economy.

The unit, set up by the Dammakka JLG in Bhadrachalam, has recently started production of aloe vera shampoos under the TSGCC’s popular ‘Giri’ brand, Manager, TSGCC Bhadrachalam division Kunja Vani said.

Glycerine soaps

It is all set to start production of glycerine soaps, one of the most sought after toiletries in winter season, soon, she added.

The enterprising venture of tribal women took a concrete shape with the constant encouragement by Project Officer Bhadrachalam Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) V. P. Gautham.

The Dammakka Group contributed 10 % of the total expenditure of the unit towards beneficiary contribution, Ms. Vani said, adding that the unit has the capacity to produce more than 5000 aloe vera shampoo bottles and an equal number of glycerine soaps per day.

“Though we are from impoverished families, we inherited a rich legacy of nurturing nature and making both utility and decorative products from natural material like bamboo,” said Vijayalaxmi, a member of Dammakka JLG.

Captive market

“Thanks to the initiative of the TSGCC, we have successfully undergone training in making chemical free natural soaps and shampoos,” she added.

The TSGCC has made marketing arrangements to supply our natural extract based products to about 168 Tribal Welfare Educational Institutions, including Ashram schools and also sell these products in Giri bazar outlets in Bhadrachalam and elsewhere in the State, said Sulochana, another member of the JLG.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 9:45:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/tribal-women-take-a-leap-into-entrepreneurship/article30062407.ece

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