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                           Chips Making (Vimala Devi)

Vimala Devi, 28 years of age, is a resident of Maligaon, Guwahati. Vimala lives in her own house with her husband [who is a wholesale vegetable vendor], three children, mother-in-law, sister-in-law & brother-in-law. Although 4 members of the family have earnings, with prices soaring high, one always looks forward to some additional income to have a reasonably comfortable living and Vimala chose to use her skills in preparing lip smacking snacks as her business activity.

Vimala Devi is a native of Darjeeling – her brother-in-law, a businessman, who prepares and sells crispy salted snacks was her role-model and she took up the business only because she had a craving for it. At a time when she was looking for funds to commence her ‘snacks making’ business, she was given to understand that RGVN(NE)MFL through its branch in Maligaon shall be providing financial assistance to the poor and needy of the area for taking up income generating activities. She, alongwith a few more ladies formed a group and after completing the necessary formalities, was eligible to avail the first loan of `8,000/- during the later part of 2009.

Vimala Devi, at the backyard of her house, made a tent to prepare the spicy salted snacks. She uses rice, corn flour, salt, vegetable oil and spices to make the snacks which is sold in the wholesale shops at Fancy Bazar – the largest market outlet of Guwahati. Vimala procures the raw materials in bulk from Siliguri and brings it to Guwahati. The salty snacks made locally which resemble ‘kurkure’ the delicacy relished by young and old alike, is sold in all the shops in Guwahati and hence Vimala is able to clinch orders on a big scale. She has purchased two electronic packaging machines [one small and one big] out of the profits earned. A second hand carrier van was also purchased by her out of the surplus which is used for dual purposes viz. selling her wares as also carrying the vegetables to the wholesale markets in Guwahati. Other than her sister-in-law who helps her in preparing and packaging, Vimala has employed ten part time labourers who are paid ` 50/- a day for their services in preparation, cleaning and packaging as well.

Through her business, Vimala Devi has been able to make handsome profits of approx. `15,000/- to ` 20,000/- per month and she has been able to dig tube well for drinking water and keeps aside a considerable sum to educate her children. She has plans to diversify her business by availing training in embroidery and then purchase sewing machines to exhibit her talents.

A beaming Vimala says “Had it not been for RGVN(NE)MFL, I would not have been able to start the business and think of improvements in my life – I am very thankful to the organization and look forward to availing all possible help both financial and non-financial”.