It was during 2017 March, that a group of twenty farm women from Chowgacha, Krishnagunj , Nadia district came to ICAR CRIJAF to undergo training on Entrepreneurship development through value addition of jute fibre and fabrics under ATMA . The main objective of the training programme was to enhance the economic condition of farm women through skill improvement and motivate for forming self-help groups. Mintu Biswas, aged 37, an active women participant from the group was very enthusiastic to become an entrepreneur. She had acquired the skill of jute bag making. Along with her, some other members also joined. After undergoing the training they decided to start jute bag making on a small scale in their own village. Ten women who had undergone training at ICAR CRIJAF came forward to make a group called “Paat Rani” Self Help Group under the leadership of Mintu Biswas. Initially they managed to get a sewing machine on subsidy from the state government. ICAR CRIJAF had placed the first purchase order for bags from the group. With the motivation and technical support of ICAR CRIJAF and financial support from Agriculture development office, the group of ten women entrepreneurs kick started their business. Subsequently, the group has been successful in receiving many indents not only from ICAR-CRIJAF but also from state government’s offices and Panchayat office under different schemes. They have also sold their products in various Melas and Exhibitions. All the members of the “Paat Rani” group was awarded during the Mahila Kisan Diwas organised at ICAR CRIJAF on Oct 15 , 2018. In Dec, 2018 the “Paat Rani” members are proud to tell others that every member owns a sewing machine for jute bag making. The group had already earned an income of Rs 1,75,500 during 2018-19 through sale of jute bag. Now the members of the “Paat Rani” have become expert trainers and also serving as master trainers in various entrepreneurship development training programmes at block level.
Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology 1