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Kulgam: Mehjabeena prefers self-employment over govt Job

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‘Manages multiple small businesses, credits NRLM for hand holding’

Kulgam:  Energetic, dedicated and qualified Mehjabeena Akhtar from hamlet Okey in district Kulgam had dreamed of establishing her own business venture to become a job provider rather than end up as a government job-seeker.

Coming from a humble background, financial constraints were a barrier for Mehjabeena to make this dream come true, but her decision remained unchanged and spirit high despite of all odds. She maintained her focus, set her eyes on the goal and utilized every opportunity to give wings to her dream.

She eagerly kept trying to trace out opportunities and platforms and thus came to know about National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) which was rolled out to organize the poor into SHG (Self Help Groups) and make them capable of self-employment.

Mehjabeena’s consciousness about the importance of her time led her to utilize available time in the best possible manner. “Without wasting time I became part of Self Help Group namely Village Organisation (VO) wherefrom I encapsulated the main ideas and basics to fulfill my dream,” Mehjabeena said.

“I received a share of Rs. 5000 as basic financial assistance from NRLM, and immediately started work on assignments with all dedication and sincerity along with other members of SHG established under the patronage of NRLM,” she said.

Mehjabeena said that she remained focused, got well-acquainted in knitting and started to produce handmade garments at her own knitting unit, and it is from this that the small earnings started to pour in.

“To double the production of garments, I planned to shift to a machine and decided to procure it,” she said adding “I put my savings and raised a loan thus purchased a knitting machine which doubled my garment production and improved my income and now my monthly earnings are more than 20 thousand.”

Besides earning for herself, Mehjabeena said that she has eight members and some workers associated with her business and they too are earning a livelihood.

“I still remember the days when I had no source of income but today things have changed,” she said.

Mehjabeena said that presently she also owns a willow wicker works unit and has recently started a kiryana shop in the vicinity.

She now plans to establish a showroom in the main town and is making preparations for it. “I want to establish a showroom in the main market where I can put my products for sale,” added Mehjabeena.

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