Punjab Agricultural University Kisan Mela makes it possible for women to generate income with hobbies | Ludhiana News

LUDHIANA: For many like Rupinder Kaur of Dhanauala Road in Barnala, from the Punjab countryside, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Kisan mela(this year’s edition started on Friday) was a platform that allowed them to create success stories by generating income from their “hobbies”.
Rupinder, for example, despite being a civil engineer by trade, was faced with one of life’s cruel hands – cancer. But despite being diagnosed with cancer twice, Rupinder managed to set up a cooperative and today she employs at least 21 women.
“After quitting my regular job I started a support group in 2012 and we made cardigans, kurtas, sweaters, socks, scarves, shoes and earrings. I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years later, but I kept going.
We have brought our products to various exhibitions in Jalandhar, Phagwara, Ferozepur and Barnala,” said Rupinder. “In 2018 I founded the Muskan Crochet Cooperative Society and currently provide work to at least 21 women in our area. I was diagnosed with cancer again in 2020 but my resolve remains firm.”
The women who work with her all praise her. “I was stuck with housework, but I still dreamed of contributing financially to my household. After meeting Rupinder, I started making money doing what I do for fun and it gives me satisfaction,” said Barnala’s Rashpal Kaur.
Gurdev Kaur Deol of Ayali Khurd in Ludhiana, a retired government teacher and cancer survivor, is another example of a woman who has pushed herself beyond her limits. Today, as president of a women’s self-help group of the Global Farmer Producers Organization, she helps other women find employment.
“There are around 300 women who are part of our support group, which makes cucumbers, masalas, millet and organic honey. I started beekeeping in 1995 but we started the group in 2015. We trade in organic products as we imagined that the toxins have also penetrated our food,” says Gurdev, winner of many awards, including the state prize. “I was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, but I have a strong willpower, so I keep working hard.”
Another woman who benefited enormously from the Kissan Mela platform was Bhupinder Kaur from Jahlan village in Patiala, who runs the Sukhmani support group engaged in Phulkari embroidery. She employs 11 women in her area.
“I was trained in Krishi Vigyan Kendra in 2007. In 2010 I started the support group and we have done phulkari embroidery on shirts, suits, dupattas and woolen jackets. These women were mostly housewives, but now they work with us and earn money as well,” said Bhupinder, 63.
Her colleague Palwinder Kaur, a member of a support group who has also opened a shop in the village, said a hard-working woman could earn between Rs 5,000 and 10,000.
“It is an honor for the state that women entrepreneurs are not only making a name for themselves, but also providing employment for many other women. It’s a great achievement,” said Ludhiana’s Amarjit Kaur.
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