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Gujarat: Class 7 drop out business woman turns around her life with khakhra

Until four years ago, Vankar was a homemaker and her family depended on the sole income of her husband.

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Thirty-three-year-old Hemlata Vankar, a class 7 drop out, is a trailblazer. Today, she employs over 140 women at her Khakhra making unit. Until four years ago, Vankar was a homemaker and her family depended on the sole income of her husband.

With the support of her entrepreneurial ambition from the Apollo Tyre Foundation and the Sri Waghodia taluka Mahila Bachat and Dheeran Sahkari Mandli of Narmada, Vankar went for training offered by the foundation. It helped her buy the initial raw material for her business.

Vankar, who now makes a profit of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 from her business said that initially it was very difficult for her to run the business.

"We had to train women and the initial help received was lost in training them. The raw material would be wasted as we had to ensure quality," said Vankar. She said today the khakhras made by the women of Alva in Waghodia are bought by stores in all major cities of Gujarat and some of them are even exported.

"I took a loan to help expand my business and with the help of the profits I earned I also bought a rickshaw for my husband," said Vankar. He said her business allowed for women to be employed close to their home.

"They all come to one place where they work for a fixed period of time. Cooking is something they have done all their life and it was not very difficult for them to pick it up. What the business has done is give a steady income to the women," said the class 7 pass out businesswoman. Over the years, Vankar has single-handedly managed to put her two sons in a private school to provide them with better education. "Earlier I could not afford it but today I can," said Vankar.

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