A women self-help group (SHG) from a village in Madhya Pradesh has earned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's praise after its members restarted a rice mill despite financial constraints faced due to the coronavirus induced-lockdown. Modi lauded the group for its work in his 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast on Sunday.
Chichgaon village in Birsa development block is some 100 kms away from Balaghat district headquarters under Jabalpur division.
Talking to PTI, president of the Yogyata Ajivika Swa-sahayata Samuh (self-help group), Meena Rahangdale said she was overwhelmed with joy after the Prime Minister praised their work.
She said the all-women group of 14 did not have finances to run the rice mill after three months into the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.
"In June, the members decided to arrange funds from personal savings and with Rs 1.10 lakh, the rice mill was re-started," Rahangdale added.
The group had opened the rice mill in December 2019 by taking a loan from a bank. It received funds under the government's livelihood mission and the group members also borrowed money from relatives, she said.
Last year, the group earned a profit of Rs 3 lakh and a portion of it was spent on repaying the loan, Rahangdale said.
She said one of the members of the SHG belongs to the tribal community.
The rice mill can handle up to 40 quintals of paddy per day and operates all the year round, Rahangdale said.
Talking about their future plans, she said the group is planning to manufacture spices.
Balaghat District Collector Deepak Arya said these women group members have done an extraordinary work.
"They are an inspiration to other women who want to become self-reliant," he said.