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Gudiya defies patriarchy, becomes a working woman
Saturday, 03 July 2021
Gudiya Kanwar became a famous name in the pickle unit of Kayad (Ajmer) for a reason. She was a housewife, until one day, she found out about Manjari Foundation forming Self Help Groups (SHGs) in her village. She joined the SHG to access affordable loans.
Gudiya was well known in the neighbourhood for her skills in making tasty pickles. During a meeting, Manjari Foundation announced its intention to open a pickle unit. This was the opportunity of Gudiya’s dreams. However, she came from a conservative Rajput community that discouraged women from stepping outside their homes for work. She attended training in pickle-making and joined the unit despite resistance from her community.
After joining the Pickle Enterprise:
Even after joining the unit, the journey was not easy for Gudiya. She was finding it difficult to handle both the pickling unit and her household responsibilities. Slowly her husband started seeing value in her work and began to support her during hectic production schedules Her first income was Rs.7,000 for two months, which she invested in her children’s education and household expenses. Following that, she made a contribution of Rs.10,000 to her husband’s family marriage ceremony. This earned her respect in her family. Today Gudiya’s monthly income ranges from Rs. 4,000 to 5,000 per month.
Gudiya is now in charge of the pickle section, where she conducts trials on new pickle varieties and trains others in quality and packaging requirements. She has also become a role model for many women in her community.
Gudiya’s ambition is to stay at the pickle plant till it transforms into a pickle factory. She also wants to contribute her savings towards building the family house that is still unfinished.
About the pickle unit
The Sakhi Utpadan Samiti Pickle Unit is located in Kayad, Ajmer and started operations on 21st October 2020. The unit is providing employment to a total of 7-10 SHG women who prepare pickles using traditional methods. The main objective to the establishment was to boost employment and incomes of women
through micro-enterprise. It also seeks to give consumers a taste of authentic Indian pickles made using age-old traditional recipes and methods. At the unit, women are making mango, lemon, garlic, sweet lime, singhara and lisoda pickles. Pickles were initially made in modest numbers, but as time went on, they grew more popular, and as a result, production increased fourfold.