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                           Assamese jewellery (Sewali Bania)

Sewali Bania of Ranthali Village-Nagaon, is a 24 year old JLG beneficiary of our Nagaon Branch. She has been working as a daily wage labourer in a jewellery shop and was earning a very paltry sum, making survival very difficult for her and her family. The news that RGVN(NE)MFL had opened an office in Nagaon came in as a ‘blessing in disguise’ and she decided to join a JLG group which would enable her to have a financial back-up to start jewellery making on her own, duly supported by her husband and mother-in-law.

Sewali had the expertise in making traditional Assamese jewellery which is completely hand made and can only be made by people who are specialized in the art. Generally, the main base is of silver and finally it is covered with very thin gold foils (paat-hun). Assamese jewellery is very affordable and easy to maintain and blends well with the local attire mekhela-sador. The frontage is studded with rubies whereas the back always has enameling. Sewali chose this business for her survival and move forward in her life through support received from RGVN(NE)MFL. She availed the first loan of ` 10,000/- to begin her business and presently she has availed the 4th cycle loan of ` 20,000/-. Sewali procures raw materials like gold, silver, enamel, stones etc. from the local market in Nagaon.

In the beginning, Sewali and her husband used to sell the jewellery door-to-door. And now, after having a considerable client-base, Sewali takes orders and delivers the final products at shops, offices, marriage parties, meetings etc. She also sells the ornaments made in the weekly markets in the local town as also in the nearby villages. With the income status scaling high, Sewali has procured a few machines for helping her in the business viz. pat machine & tar machine. Apart from her family members, she has engaged a local girl to assist her in the business.

Her association with RGVN(NE)MFL has brought in a lot of changes in the lifestyle of Sewali viz [a] She has been able to send her child to school [b] a sizeable amount out of the profits has been kept aside as savings [c] above all, she has been able to live a life independently. In an urge to see a better-tomorrow,Sewali says “I am looking forward to further support from RGVN(NE)MFL, I plan to have my own jewellery shop in the local town Nagaon from where I can sell my products. I also want to buy a few more household essentials and convert my living premises a better place to live in.”