Feature Article Udhampur: NRLM changes life of many rural poor through its support structure Fruit, vegetable processing by using solar dryer scripts success story of Sushma Rani
Publish Date : 04/03/2022
Udhampur: NRLM changes life of many rural poor through its support structure
Fruit, vegetable processing by using solar dryer scripts success story of Sushma Rani
UDHAMPUR, MARCH 04: National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) – Aajeevika was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in June 2011 as a restructured version of Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY).
The NRLM strives towards unleashing the entrepreneurial capability of rural communities and individuals by providing them with an appropriate platform through a dedicated and sensitive support structure.
In Udhampur district, Illiteracy, ignorance, insufficient awareness and lack of organized effort appear to be the root cause of the major problems of socio-economic, educational, health and backwardness of the rural people.
Agriculture, physical labour and collection of minor forest products are the main sources of their income.
Solar dryers are a simple but high-impact technology solution. Through this service, a wide variety of solar-dried vegetables, fruits, greens, herbs, immunity boosters etc can be value added with a shelf life of more than a year. With solar Drying, all the nutritional qualities, colour, taste and flavour of the original product are retained, resulting in efficient value addition.
To prevent wastages of vegetables and fruits, the Mission took up solar drying. What started as wastage prevention has now become a full-scale livelihood program. For this purpose, various SHG members are identified to generate livelihood earning from this technology with proper orientation of the use of this technology. The potential for rural women’s livelihood through solar drying is immense. The horticulture department is keen to associate with the SHGs in J&K, through JKRLM, for solar drying based livelihood generation programs. The SHG members from Block Chenani, Ramnagar and Dudu Basantgarh installed these solar dryers with help of the horticulture department on 50% subsidy basis.
The story behind the installation of solar dryers are a very self-motivated journey with zero income to 8-10k per month earning made the life of SHG, members very cheerful and motivation to other community members for livelihood generation, Presently in district Udhampur (130) members are involved for this solar drying of various products like vegetables, fruits, and they are supplying these solar dried products to various platforms like SARAS fairs in different states for marketing and selling of these products. The SHGs are now moving towards solar-dried powders of red chili, coriander, tomato, mushroom and many more to generate livelihood for the members.
Sushma Rani’s Journey with JKRLM (UMEED) dates back to a time when she had nothing but only worries about her sustenance. She was married but was jobless. She had concerns about her family which had no means of getting income but was bearing expenditure on a daily basis which too was barely minimum to keep them going.
With the intent to bring a change and become an entrepreneur, she stepped forward and joined (UMEED.) With this she decided to take Pickle and solar drying as her venture for which she was imparted training and provided assistance by NRLM and other departments. She initially setup 1 solar dryer unit and pickle unit and with the time she increased the count to which is providing her adequate quantity of pickle and solar dryer products to sell locally as well as nationally.
She has customers from other states as well who are well satisfied with the quality. She has been consistently upgrading the instruments which are being used in her business and is now exploring other areas to expand her business eying on processing and marketing of various processed fruit and vegetable products like Jams, Pickles, Jellies, Sauces, Chutneys, and Ketchups.
She has received praises from all for her dedication and has even employed her husband who was struggling to find a suitable job for himself. She is satisfied with the way her business is nurturing and is thankful to JKRLM. She is also involved in mobilizing rural poor women to join UMEED and change their fortunes just as she did it.