Kanchan Vaishav is a native of Bhilwara’s Agoocha Village. She is a 45-year-old woman, who has been working at the Pulses Unit in Agoocha since its inception. Her husband worked as a farmer, but now is confined to the home due to poor health.
During an SHG meeting, one of the women in her group suggested that she joins the pulses unit in her village. She started working there from 2019, handpicking pulses. Over time, she improved her skills, took on more responsibility, and today, she is managing operations of the pulses mill.
She told us once that she used to be afraid of turning on the electric switch at home but now she can turn on the pulse mill on her own. Kanchan even teaches other women how to operate machinery at the mill.
Kanchan makes a respectable Rs.4,500 to 5000 per month from working at the unit, which she put towards household expenditure and medicines for her husband.
Kanchan’s aim is to run her family on her own without relying on anyone else. She also wants to look after her husband and save for her daughter’s future.
The pulses unit is located in Agoocha, Bhilwara (Rajasthan) and was established in 2019. Today, the unit is processing unpolished Arhar, Urad, and Moong, after procuring it directly from farmers. Preference is given to families whose women members are associated with SHGs. Selling their harvest directly to the unit eliminates middlemen and helps them secure better prices for their produce. The pulses plant is entirely owned and managed by rural SHG women, who are responsible for everything from operating machinery to packing, monitoring, sorting, grading, and cleaning. A total of 15 SHG women are working at the unit. Having started with a low production, the unit has scaled up to full capacity in just one year to meet the rising demand. Emphasis on premium quality makes the unit stand out from others.