The Story of Rani Devi
Rani Devi lives in Badalagia village of West Singhbhum district. Her village lies on Badlagia-Dopai road which is the only road that connects her block to the other parts of the district. She stays with her husband, a daily wage labourer and their 6 year old daughter studying in class one. Rani Devi could not continue her studies as she was forced to quit after 10th and married off due to family issues. She has always been acitve in her SHG and was also the book keeper of Badalagia Village Organisation (VO).
People from her Panchayat and nearby villages regularly used the Badlagia-Dopai road to reach Khuntpani and Chaibasa. But for people who travel via this road frequently, buying essential daily items was a problems as the only two Kirana Shops that existed were located in the interiors of the village. Rani Devi had been observing this for quite a long time and started thinking “If a Kirana Shop can be opened near the Badlagia-Dopai road, most of the passers-by will not have to walk extra 200 meters to buy things”. Having realized this, she planned to set up a Kirana Shop that will cater not only the frequent travellers but also children and villagers.
With this thought in mind, she started collecting money from various sources such as from her husband, relatives, SHG and VO but she could not get enough money to start the shop. SHG and VO members did not prefer to give her loan citing reasons such as inability to repay the loan, her being landless, not enough earnings by the family etc. Having tried all the alternatives and failing in each step, she was dejected, but did not loose hope. In August 2017, as she was attending an SVEP orientation at VO level, she realised that her dream of opening a Kirana Shop can be fulfilled. Ms Simla, the CRP-EP of the concerned cluster under SVEP, conducted further SHG orientations in her village to give a better understanding on the benefits of starting an enterprise under SVEP.
Rani Devi showed keen interest and participated actively in the discussions and orientation programs. Following which, she also attended General Orientation of Training (GOT) and Business Management Training (BMT) organised by Ms. Simla, the CRP EP. The trainings helped her to understand various aspects related to a business such as competitors, cost of profitability, capital, books of account etc. She felt that the frequent visit of Ms Simla was also a symbol of cooperation, support and comfort. She shared “I was assured that someone is there with me to support and guide me in my business thus without the fear of risk and loss in business I was mentally stronger to start the business “. Ms. Simla supported Rani Devi in conducting a viability study and prepared a business plan for her which was also presented to the Project Sanctioning Committee (PSC) for approval. The committee members including representatives from CLF, CRP-EPs, Kudumbashree NRO mentors and SVEP BPM approved the business plan with cost Rs. 51,500/- which included Fixed capital Rs 22,400/- and Working capital Rs 29,100. The PSC also approved Rs 1500/- as entrepreneur’s contribution and remaining Rs 50,000 was sanctioned as Community Enterprise Fund (CEF) under SVEP. Once the CEF money was released to her account, she and her husband went to Chaibasa town and bought necessary items for the Kirana Shop. They also modified their house by making one side of the wall look like a window and opening to her Kirana shop (as shown in the picture).
She now sells groceries, toys and other stationery items. The shop fetches her a profit of at least Rs. 4500 to Rs. 5000 per month and as a result she has also started repaying her loan simultaneously. She now feels very happy to have the shop as she thinks it has been not only helpful to her but also for other villagers. Nanika Jamunda, one of the locals who regularly visits her shop stated “Even when we don’t have money we get to buy stuff on credit from Raniji whereas other shops don’t provide this so we feel happy to have this shop in our compound”.
Rani Devi now plans to expand her business and include items like coffins, fancy items for ladies and disposable plates.