Kakali Das, a single mother, is a great source of inspiration for people in her area. A woman entrepreneur residing at Uttar Madarhat, Doopura, Baruipur in South of West Bengal, she comes from a poor background and was married at a very early age.
When most girls are usually completing their matriculation, she was facing domestic hardships, including abuse in her married life. During this period, she also became a mother to a girl child and was left alone during the same time. After going through both physical and mental trauma, in the year 2018, she decided to change everything to give a better future and decent life to her child. It was then that she began her entrepreneurship journey.
She started learning skills at JSS Narendrapur, got herself trained and skilled to stitch clothes and make garments. She travels on her scooter every day to her shop located in Baruipur market which is about half an hour from her residence. Starting a new business was a matter of great risk but she mustered up courage to do so. She sold all her jewelry and also took financial help from her relatives and raised Rs. 3 lakhs to set up her own business and a shop as no bank was ready to give loan for her business. She registered her enterprise in the year 2019 by the name of “Sabita Readymade Centre (tailoring)”’ and got her trade license as well.
She came in touch with the initiatives of the PM YUVA Scheme through the JSS team and the implementation partner TotalStart. Initially, she attended the community awareness program and then enrolled herself in the 3-day mentoring camp to understand more about how to increase her business profits/opportunities. It was during the mentoring camp and her interaction with expert mentors, she understood that in order to increase her profits and sales, she has to market her products. She may also need to invest another Rs. 10 lakhs. Additionally, she needs to improve her technological skills and keep abreast of the current market trends.
Today she’s earning around 20 -22 thousand per month. Not only this, but she is also working as a trainer at JSS at their Baruipur center, where she teaches other girls to cut and stitch clothes. She has also become an employer who has hired 4 more women in her shop, out of which 1 lady is working on a full-time basis and other 3 are on a part-time basis and earns a salary of 4500/- per month and 2500/- to 3000/- per month respectively. Kakali is training them to become tailors and is also helping them to generate income for their families. She also uses social media platforms such as whatsApp local groups and Facebook to promote her work and market her products which she learned during the mentoring camp.
Although Kakali did not get any support from society in her hardship days but aspires to build a space /center in the future to train young women and provide them the opportunity to learn tailoring work so that they can stand on their feet and never depend on anyone in life for their livelihood. She has received business acumen support from the PM YUVA pilot project and wants more help/support financially for working capital, marketing support, technical support, training support (advance level) in the future.