Mehjabeena of Okey Hamlet in Kulgam prefers self-employment over seeking Govt Job

KULGAM: Energetic, dedicated and qualified Mehjabeena Akhtar from hamlet Okey in district Kulgam had dreamed of establishing her own business venture to become a job provider and live a dignified life rather than ending up as a government job seeker.
Coming from a humble background, financial constraints were a barrier to make this dream come true, but, the decision was unchanged and spirit was high despite of all odds, Mehjabeena maintained her focus and set her eyes on the target to utilize every opportunity to give wings to her dream.
She remained eagerly trying to trace out opportunity and platform and thus came to know about National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) which was rolled out to organize the poor into SHG (Self Help Groups) and make them capable of self-employment.
Mehjabeena’s consciousness about the importance of her time led her to utilize available time in the best possible manner. She said that without wasting time she joined hands and became part of SHG namely Village Organisation, (VO) where from she encapsulated the main ideas and basics to nourish her dream.
“I received a share of Rs. 5000 as basic financial assistance from NRLM, and immediately started work on assignments with all dedication and sincerity along with other members of SHG established under the patronage of NRLM,” she said.
Mehjabeena said that she remained focused, got well acquainted in knitting and started to produce handmade garments at her own knitting unit, and it is from this that the small earnings started to pour in.
“To double the production of garments, I planned to shift to a machine and decided to procure it,” she said adding “I put my savings and raised a loan thus purchased a knitting machine which doubled my garment production and improved my income and now my monthly earnings are more than 20 thousand per month”.
Besides earning for herself, Mehjabeena said that she has eight members and some workers associated with her and they too are earning livelihood.
“I still remember the days when there was no source of income to me but today there is a change,” she said.
Mehjabeena said that presently she also owns a willow wicker works unit and has recently started a kiryana shop in the vicinity.
She now plans to establish a showroom in the main town and is preparing for it. “I want to establish a showroom in the main market where I can put my products on display for sale,” added Mehjabeena.

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