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Tapping into Khadi for business

Lok Utsav 2017 is a great business opportunity to vendors. Every festival vendors from other states make a beeline to Goa to try their luck. Several strike it rich because Lok Utsav is a highly popular festival with residents eager to purchase.Manju Rajoria, entrepreneur from Delhi, is among the vendors to have done brisk business in the festival. She has been called specially by the Khadi Gram Udyog due to her expertise in coming out with host of innovative home-made products. Rajoria sells a range of chocolates, papad, jaggery, ground nut chickki, pickles, ready-made masalas (spices) and many more items.She says that all her goods on display have sold like hot cakes and she is glad for having participated in the vibrant Lok Utsav festival.
Everybody has some or the other family problems which compels them to take up some job or business to earn money. “I got into business to help out with the household expenses,” she says with a broad smile on her face.“I have been into selling homemade items at various places like Delhi, Chennai, Nepal and other cities throughout the nation and have been supporting the family. I generate sufficient income along with my husband who assists me in preparing and selling the items,” she says.Over the years she has expanded her business although it is the first time she is in Goa. As a invitee of Khadi Gram Udyog she is eager to teach Goan women the items she knows. She says that there is always demand for home-made items and they sell in good quantities despite high prices.
Rajoria’s variety in papad is vast. From moong dal papad to garlic papad,  pudina and  chana dal papad, methi papad, the range is amazing. Besides specializing in papad’s she sells wadi’s,  gram masala, chicken masala and lots of home-made digestive items.  Rajoria is well settled financially but says that she prefers to keep working to teach anybody who comes through the Khadi Gram Udyog.She gives credit to her parents who taught her everything at the very tender age and made her all-rounder before her marriage. But she wanted to do something more than work within the kitchen walls. “I realized that my expertise in the kitchen could be used to support my family. Our income was very less and we could not meet our household expenses after the marriage. This was the best way to supplement the income, ’’ she informs.
For the last 10 years, she is in the home made business and indebted to the government for helping her in setting up small-scale industry while Khadi Gram Udyog helped her avail loan.She informs that every year there is an offer from Khadi Gram Udyog to take part in the Lok Utsav and as such there are nearly 10-12 stalls in the fair this time taking active part from various parts of the nation.“The average person in Goa thinks that Khadi caters to only different variety of clothes, dhoti, saris. But today the organization is made tremendous progress in various other fields.”
They are nearly 9-10 stalls at Lok Utsav selling, clothes, readymade garments, leather bags along with papad, milk products, leather items, ayuvedic medicines, masalas, handicraft items besides carpentry and blacksmith related items are being produced, says A L Meena, director of Khadi Gram Udyog.Meena says that under the Pradhan Mantri Employment Generation Yojana we have 126 units in different parts of the country and presently there are 45 units employing 284 people and through this scheme 81 entrepreneurs have been benefitted.He says that under the Pradhan Mantri Employment Generation Yojana, Rs 1.48 crore have been sanctioned to village industries.  Shabbir Bhati , in-charge of Goa Bhavan, says that  if we get an opportunity to serve the Goans we can discuss this idea before the higher ups and work out the modalities to further the ideas. [NT]

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