Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh): These 80-odd women in the Katri area of Shahjahanpur district are lighting up your lives -- quite literally.
They are being trained to assemble LED bulbs and decorative lights that are competitively priced.
The district unit of Indian Industries Association is providing training in an effort to help these women earn a decent living and uplift themselves economically. These women are assembling good quality LED bulbs -- which are on par with the branded ones available in the market -- and are selling these at Rs 50 or even Rs 35 per piece.
Ashok Agarwal, national president of Indian Industries Association, told reporters, "The initiative is aimed at providing financial help to women in the rural areas and also develop it as a cottage industry."
He said that most of the women have acquired the skill to assemble a 9W bulb in 12-15 minutes, and are honing their skills on how to assemble strings of lights.
"We have two manufacturing units running at present -- one of these is located at the reserve police lines. We will soon be shifting one of our units to a village in Mirzapur. As of now, we have provided transportation to the women to come over to Shahjahanpur for training," he said.
He further informed, "We provide raw materials to the women. A 9W bulb is not only energy efficient but also lasts a minimum of two years. The women are selling the bulbs for Rs 50 or even less. The profit earned is shared with the women. We have not thought about branding of the product as of now, and so the product does not have a name."
Shahjahanpur District Magistrate Indra Vikram Singh, who recently spent some time with these women workers, has placed an order for 1,000 LED bulbs to encourage them.
Interestingly, Mirzapur and Kalaan areas fall under the Katri belt, which was once infested by dacoits. Several women, now making bulbs, used to make a living by providing shelter and food to dacoits in the region.