Shabnam Parveen from Gaya in Bihar is in the candle-making business. However, what sets her apart is her efforts to make herself self-reliant and to make other women financially independent. Starting from 2018, she took a loan ₹40,000 loan to kickstart her business, making ₹5-6 lakh every year.
Parveen got her training from the Rural Self-Employing Training Institute, an initiative started by the Ministry of Rural Development that helps people living in villages learn important skills that will be helpful for them, in the long run, to make themselves financially independent.
Inspired By Her Self-Help Group
According to News 18, Shabnam Parveen did not let her disability hold her back. Before venturing into candle-making, she used to give home tuitions to students in order to earn a living. "I have been doing this work since 2018. Earlier, I used to give home tuitions to students to earn bread. However, the self-help group inspired me to do something different. They trained us in making different candles," she said.
She started to make candles in different colours and shapes. With the ₹40,000 loan and family support, she is able to make this into a full-fledged business. She supplies them to Patna, Gaya and Madhubani in Bihar. She also gets orders from West Bengal as well. During COVID-19, she made masks for people living in the rural areas so that they could protect themselves from catching the deadly virus.
Apart from earning money to sustain herself, she is also helping women around her. Parveen gives them training so that they can become self-reliant and start a business of their own.
First Bihar Woman To Get 'Hunarbaaz Award'
Shabnam's work is getting the appreciation she deserves. She became the first woman from Bihar to receive the 'Hunarbaaz Award' for her work by the National Institute of Rural Development. Not just that, women around her are inspired by her hard work and wish to stand on their own two feet like she did.
While her work is flourishing at the moment, she is hoping for more support from the government. "If I get support from the government, I will be able to expand this business and financially help 25 women," she said. Currently, she is running a training programme for women in the area, teaching them how to make candles and making a successful business out of it.