Northeast Woman: From Shy Person to Dynamic Entrepreneur

New Delhi, February 13 (IANS): The North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) has been extremely successful in empowering women in North East India and several success stories in improving women’s living standards attest to this.

One such story is that of Yobina Lyngdoh Marshyllong, a resident of Jakhong Village, West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya.

Coming from a very remote area, she lacked confidence in marketing her agricultural products, so her dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur seemed distant. However, in 2001, the Indian government intervened through NERCORMP, a livelihood initiative of the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Society (NERCRMS) and came to his village.

Under NERCORMP, Yobina became a member of the Self Help Group (SHG), i.e. ‘KA BUIT KA LONG KA BOR’ (Knowledge is strength). The SHG was formed in April 2002 and she quickly became the group’s president due to her leadership qualities and management skills.

The North East Region Development Ministry says NERCORMP has benefited the entire village. In order to address open defecation issues, the entry point initiative launched under the project was to establish affordable toilets. The initiative was well received by the villagers and as a result they learned about cleanliness and hygiene.

Another initiative supported by the project was the Revolving Fund for Self-Help Groups. Initially, the SHG received total financial support of Rs 1 lakh. Yobina took out a loan of Rs 14,000 from the SHG revolving fund and opened a grocery store in the village. Thanks to the capacity building support received through the project, she has honed her entrepreneurial skills and expanded her business.

Gradually, she opened another grocery store in the village itself. After successfully opening two grocery stores in the village, she also ventured to sell her products in urban centers like Mairang and Shillong. This resulted in turning her into a successful entrepreneur.

Yobina, along with other SHG members, sells her wares in Mairang and Shillong. As the group sells its products directly in urban centers, they now earn Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per day!

She also encouraged others and formed new self-help groups. It now has nearly 70 members. Yobina expressed her sincere gratitude to NERCRMS, NEC, GoI for helping villagers in a small village to realize a new meaning of Atma Nirbharta (self-reliance).

About Bradley J. Bridges

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