35 women entrepreneurs from rural Assam, who were part of Project Pragati, were felicitated at a function held at Bamunigaon in Kamrup district of Assam. Funded by Interglobe Foundation and implemented by Dhriiti–The Courage Within, Project Pragati involves women in making areca nut leaf plates that are 100% bio-degradable as microenterprise models.
Tapping into an abundantly available natural resource which previously went to waste, the women are able to complement their household income by running home-based enterprises. While Interglobe Foundation has funded the machines, Assam-based Tamul Plates Marketing Private Limited (TPMPL) provided the technical support. Dhriiti has helped these women manage their enterprise, create a network of raw material suppliers, learn accounting and balance their home and work environments.
‘We are happy to see that these 35 women are now empowered through this project. They are now able to enhance their earning as they produce eco-friendly arecanut cutlery from their own setup at their homes. We provided 30 days training and the ability to manage a home-based business besides providing the equipments after selection of the beneficiary,’ said Nidhi Arora, Executive Director of Dhriiti.
During the felicitation ceremony, Dhriiti also handed over kits of spare machine parts to the two SHGs that these women entrepreneurs have formed.
From Interglobe Foundation, Priyanka Singh and Dipa Dixit attended the event. ‘The project had two Aims – one it was to create women entrepreneurs who would make cutlery out of arecanut leafs. And the other one was to produce eco-friendly cutlery which would replace plastics. Through this project we were able to empower 35 women directly and the benefits reached more than 300 others who were able to make a living by making these eco-friendly cutleries,’ said Priyanka Singh, Head Interglobe Foundation.
Besides members of Interglobe Foundation and Dhriiti, Chayanika Gogoi , BPM Bangaon Block, NLRM; Dipa Dixit from Interglobe Foundation; Majhiram Rabha, social worker; Aditya Rabha, Executive Counselor, Sports and Welfare, Rabha Hasong Counsel and Sarat Chandra Das and Bikramaditya Das from Grameen Sahara were also present on the occasion.