Gujarat’s Self Help Group: Belonging to the tribal district of Dang, the group of 10 women collected their minimal savings and after 4 years of hard work, have started “Apna Bakery”. A bakery selling Ragi products. The women, who’ve never even written a letter to anyone, are now sending products to customers via couriers.
Known as the “Bakery sisters”, they managed to do this, with the help of Agha Khan Village Support Program. The bakery cost Rs 5.50 lakh, of which 80% was borne by the Agha Khan NGO and 20% by women. After the establishment of this business, this group of women was given 15 days training.
The bakery was started in 2017. Even though the initial days were filled with obstacles as business was not a familiar prospect for all the girls, the brand has now become very popular. Excluding the first year, Apna Bakery has a turnover of Rs 2.50 lakh per annum. The bakery offers a wide variety of food items, in a varying price range. Many products like Ragina biscuits, Ragina chakri, Ragina shakkarpara, Ragina toast, Ragina Makhaniya and papad are made by women themselves. The Ragi products are a healthier alternative, and have thus become quite a favourite among consumers.
The sheer will and determination of these women is not only commendable, but also inspirational for many.