Saraswati: Bolstering family income with plates of momos & enterprise

Her keen interest in business led to financial rewards & a secure future for her son

Saraswati Bahadur, from Odisha’s Jajpur district, always wanted to contribute to her family’s income but did not know how. She lives with her husband, Suraj Kappa, their four-year-old son, mother-in-law, father-in-law and a sister-in-law. Suraj, who works as a roadside painter, would run into financial hurdles during the monsoon season when his work got stalled.

Saraswati, who studied till Grade 9, came in touch with Pratham in November 2021 as part of its Swaad Kart project. The primary goal of this project was to empower women within the target communities by identifying potential entrepreneurs and assisting them in establishing small yet profitable food businesses.

At a community meeting held in a nearby village, Saraswati showed keen interest in being trained to run her own food business. This proved to be a turning point in her life.

Saraswati and her fellow participants underwent comprehensive training by a team from Pratham’s Entrepreneurship Development program. They learnt various aspects of entrepreneurship such as initiating a business and understanding compliance requirements. The idea was to ensure that the participants gained necessary skills in order to independently operate and sustain their businesses. 

Saraswati learnt how to make momos and set up a food stall in April 2022. Pratham continued to mentor her till March 2023 and saw to it that her business ran smoothly.

Her stall today is a thriving business and she contributes significantly to the family income. Saraswati earns between Rs 500-800 every day and has also managed to save around Rs 15,000 for her son’s education.

The Swaad Kart business not only elevated the economic standing of her family but also served as a testament to the transformative potential of empowering women.