Women self help groups in Bihar send mulberry silk rakhis to President and PM
Jeevika didis in Bihar’s Purnia district have sent handmade Rakhis, made of mulberry silk, to the President and the Prime Minister this Rakshabandhan. Jeevika didis is the popular name for women who run self-help groups (SHGs) in Bihar. They said the rakhis made up of mulberry silk, drawn from cocoons, were meant to symbolise the purity of ‘Resham ki Dori’ used to tie brothers and sisters in a bond.
“The rakhis we made for the PM and the President were same as ‘Resham ki dori’ and symbolised our wish to see the Prime Minister’s ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) bid become a reality,” said Meera Devi and Munni Devi, who were involved in the running of the Adarsh Jeevika Mahila Mulberry Resham Utpadak Samooh, a women’s cooperative for production of Mulberry silk at Amari village in Dhamdaha area of Purnia district. The Prime Minister had mentioned this group in his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat on February 23, 2020.
Like Meeera Devi and Munni Devi, Reena Kumari, Rukmani Devi, Sukeshwari Devi and 60 others were busy making attractive rakhis out of mulberry silk with a plan to sell them in the market. “Last year we did it on a small scale but this year we have planned to make at least 50,000 handmade rakhis,” they said and added that they were hoping for a good return.
The raw material besides mulberry silk cocoon was being supplied to these jeevika didis by the women’s collective of silk producers at Dhamdaha and Jalalgarh.
“These silk rakhis were being sold at ₹15 to ₹50 and women were showing a keen interest in buying these rakhis,” one Jeevika didi said, adding, “Each rakhi earns us a profit between ₹5 and 7 and each one of us can make up to 50 rakhis a day to earn up to ₹10,000 in 15 days’ time.
About 50 such women from Dhamdaha and Jalalgarh block were engaged in making rakhis from mulberry silk and these are being marketed by Adarsh Jeevika Mulberry Resham Utpadak Samooh.
Rajeev Ranjan, manager, communication, Jeevika Purnia said, “During the pandemic, Jeevika didis have shown the way to others by not allowing themselves to be bogged down by the situation and have come up with fresh and profitable ideas to sustain themselves and their families.”
In Purnia there are about 27,000 self-help-groups that engage over 350,000 women. Roughly 16,000 of these women are considered very active.