New Delhi, April 9 IANS | 4 months ago

Eleven women from little-known villages of India were felicitated here Wednesday for overcoming hardships and scripting success stories through entrepreneurship.


The FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) honoured these grassroots women entrepreneurs for their remarkable work in fighting the odds.

Manorma Devi, who hails from Shekhwara village in Bihar was thrown out of her house by her in-laws for not being able to deliver a "son". She then returned to her family, where her father and brothers encouraged her to focus on her career.

Devi then enrolled in the Jeevika project -- a livelihood scheme for the poor people in Bihar -- that helped her self-sustain herself.

"With this project, I was able to get a loan of Rs.6,000. I also pooled in some of my savings to start a small cosmetics shop in the village," she told IANS.

Along with her was Sakubai Lokhande, 60, from a tiny village in Maharashtra. She too had a story to narrate.

"I come from a very poor background and hit the bed many a night on an empty stomach," said Lokhande who has started a small business where she makes brooms and ropes.

Others like Latha Gowri from Andhra Pradesh, Janaki Ben from Gujarat and Anuradha Pegu from Assam were also honoured.

Bharatiya Janata Party vice president Najma Heptulla, who was present at the event emphasised the need to educate and empower women so that they can face adversities and challenges of life.

"We should work for education and security of women and encourage them to speak about their issues in public. Education gives women confidence and they will all come up with brilliant ideas," said Heptulla.

A compilation "150 Stories of Women Achievers, Entrepreneurship: Against All Odds" was also unveiled on the occasion.

(Posted on 09-04-2014)