12 December 2019
Bhubaneswar: Mission Shakti, the flagship programme of Government of Odisha, an initiative for women empowerment has in the true sense turned out to be a game changer for these two sisters from Balarampur village under Chhatrapur block in Ganjam district, one of whom is differently-abled (deaf and dumb).
Life has changed for siblings-Janaki Mahakud (26) and Asha Mahakud (23-year-old and differently-abled) ever since they joined Om Shanti Women Self Help Group under Mission Shakti three years back in 2016.
For Janaki and Asha, life was not easy as they had lost their mother early in life and their father works at a spinning mill in distant Surat.
The duo could hardly manage a living with the meagre amount sent by their father from Surat and had to do errand jobs to manage 2 squares meals a day.
Ommcom News caught up with these two sisters at the Mission Shakti Mela here at the Exhibition Ground this evening and spoke to them about their life of struggle before and after joining the SHG under Mission Shakti.
"We had a very hard life prior to our joining this SHG under Mission Shakti. After our association with Mission Shakti, we were given training in making toys and other decorative articles from coir. Now we make these articles, pickles, jams, papads and sell these in expos organized by Mission Shakti and other government organizations," said Asha Mahakud in sign language which was interpreted verbally by her sister Janaki.
"Now we are self-reliant. Each of us is able to earn around Rs 5,000 a month on an average. We can now hold our head high. We don't depend on anyone for a living. Had it not for Mission Shakti we would have ended up begging for a living," she added.
Products sold by these sisters in the stall allotted to them is drawing a good number of customers who do not fail to appreciate the sisters especially Asha who is differently-abled for their endeavour to become self-reliant and live a life of dignity. Visitors very often shower them with blessings.
"I am a senior citizen I have no words to appreciate them for their endeavour. I am very very happy. Lord Kalia (Jagannath) will look after her. We bless her," said Jay Narayan Patnaik, a customer who had purchased an idol of Lord Ganesh from Asha.
Lastly, we would appeal to our readers to visit the stall run by Asha and her sister and appreciate their work and their pursuit to become self-reliant in this otherwise harsh world.