Bhagwanti Portay and 11 other women seized the initiative: they started producing and selling ready-to-eat meals. Ever since their village has been provided with electricity from renewable sources, the women have been able to increase their production, as they have bought an electric flour mill. Today they produce 100 ready-to-eat meals a day. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, GIZ is providing rural areas in India with green energy. A power supply system has already been installed for 26 villages in two Indian states.
We make high-energy ready-to-eat meals for pregnant women and children. The meals are prepared from ground wheat, soya beans, beans, soya oil and sugar. Every month we sell our food packets to government mother and child-care centres. We reach about 2,500 people in all.
When we started with the production of food packets, there was no electricity. Once the generator had been installed in our village, we were able to boost both our production and our earnings with an electric flour mill. Thanks to the increase in income, we are now able to send our children to school, eat better food and buy good clothes.
The best moment for me was when, after five months of hard work, we received a cheque for EUR 3,500. Our dreams had been fulfilled – not only were we able to cover our costs but, for the first time, we had also earned our own money. This made us all very proud.
The generator runs on bio-petroleum and the power supply is managed by a committee that we founded ourselves. I head the committee. Not only does the generator provide us with electricity, it is in fact much more economical than a diesel generator. I also find it good that it doesn’t dirty our air.
I would like to build a village school for the children so we don’t have to send them to the city. There is also an urgent need for proper roads so that our village is better connected to the city. Brick houses for the entire community would also be nice – it would make life more comfortable.