A women-run factory producing sustainable goods in MahendranagarThe factory produces hand-made brooms and other products made of bamboo.
Fifty-year-old Lakshmi Mahata from Mahendranagar was a full-time housewife a year ago. Once she was done with household chores, she would while away her days, she says.
Today, things have taken a turn for the good since a factory was established in her neighbourhood. She is now employed and earns a decent income. The factory produces hand-made brooms and other products made of bamboo. “I come early, after I cook food for the family, and return to make supper. It’s a good use of my free time, said Lakshmi, adding that she earns about Rs600 daily. “More importantly, I have learned a new skill,” she said.
The women who work with Lakshmi prepare up to 150 brooms a day, and get paid Rs4 for each product. “With the money, we can now contribute to buy daily essentials,” said Basanti Bam, who lives in a rented flat in Mahendranagar.
Since they get paid according to the pieces they produce, the workload is not so burdening, they say. Basanti and Lakshmi each work for six hours daily.
The factory, Bindhabasini Bamboo Cottage Industry, was established a year ago and trained its employees before hiring them, said Lal Bahadur Gharti, the owner. “We are proud of what we do,” he said. “We make use of local resources and have been able to produce materials such as chairs, sofas, tables, cupboards out of them.” Gharti said that he has invited artisans from India to train the women further.