DWCRA and other self-help groups have shown that women can make money by taking microloans and selling their wares through exhibitions, fairs, etc. However, not all self-help groups (SHGs) are successful and cannot generate assets or revenues as planned. Mahbubnagar district administration has proved that intervention at the correct time and at different stages can go a long way in empowering rural home-makers to break stereotypes and become entrepreneurs.
To facilitate sales and make a brand out of products, the district collector S Venkata Rao has clubbed the products under the brand name ‘Maha,’ which was incidentally named by MA&UD minister KT Rama Rao.
Subsequently, the vacant DWCRA Bhavan in Mahbubnagar town was named Maha Store, where the SHGs would display their products for sale. Having tided over the pandemic, this initiative has helped many have a means of livelihood.
One shining example is M Sruthi from Addakal, who started making flower bouquets from paper, and they have now become a huge hit in wedding arrangements and small functions. In fact, she is one of the women who manage the ‘Maha store.’ There are around 35 products on display, and the yare available on Amazon and a website has also been created with the brand name.
Toilet cleaners, detergents, millet products such as biscuits, murukulu, ragi rotis, jowar rotis, masks, frocks for children, bags made of jute and cloth, processed tamarind, vegetable and meat pickles, jams, and various other products are sold by going home to home in the district through vehicles. They also have mobile stores.
The district administration has granted funds from the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) worth Rs 25 lakh for machinery to make millet products. Now, the women in these groups have learnt the nuances of entrepreneurship and are able to earn money and sustain their business thanks to the training imparted by the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty.