In the heart of Odisha’s Rayagada district lies Jangadapadar village, a community where opportunities were scarce. Most villagers relied on daily wages, agricultural labor, or the uncertain path of migration to make ends meet.

Then came Prayatn Sanstha, with the financial support of HDFC Bank Ltd a beacon of hope dedicated to empowering rural communities. They established Village Development Committees, Children’s Collectives, Adolescent Girls Groups, and most importantly, Self Help Groups (SHGs) – fostering self-reliance at the grassroots level. Through regular meetings, Prayatn Sanstha facilitated open communications with the community. During one such discussion of SHG Meeting, the women in the group highlighted a long-standing need – a tailoring center. Traveling the arduous 6 kilometers to a neighboring village Mukundapur for even basic stitching needs was a burden, draining them of time, money were real issues.

Ms. Roja Nalla, a member of a financially strained middle-class family in the village, stood out as a potential catalyst for change. As the sole breadwinner for her family, Roja yearned for financial independence. The discussions regarding the Income Generation Activities (IGA) sparked a fire in Roja’s heart – a vision of a tailoring shop nestled within Jangadapadar itself.

Therefore, Roja mustered her courage and voiced her aspiration during the next meeting. Recognizing the spark of determination in Roja’s eyes, Prayatn Sanstha readily extended the support to her. With Prayatn Sanstha’s backing, Roja’s vision blossomed into reality. The newly established tailoring shop wasn’t just a source of daily income for Roja; it became a pillar of support for the entire village. Customers from neighboring villages began pouring in, seeking Roja’s expertise for new clothes, alterations, and even uniforms for children and Youth.

Within a remarkable six months (October 2023 – March 2024), Roja’s earnings surpassed Rs. 30,000! This not only secured her financial stability but also empowered the entire community. Villagers could finally meet their tailoring needs conveniently, saving both time and money that was previously spent on trips to Mukundapur.

Ms. Roja’s story is a powerful testament to the transformative power of collaboration. Prayatn Sanstha’s unwavering support, combined with Roja’s unwavering determination, paved the way for Jangadapadar’s journey from dependence to self-reliance. It’s a story that inspires, reminding us that even a single step towards empowerment can create a ripple effect of positive change for a community.

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