SINDHUPALCHOWK, July 11: Thirty eight years old Punu Tamang of Lisankhu, Pakhar-5, Jethal, was a simple laborer as early as five months ago. She used to work as a rug designer for an entrepreneur for a limited wage. The owner used to take all the profits while she received only a little amount.
But things have changed these days. These days Punu weaves rugs at her own home as she bought a rug weaving machine five months ago, starting her own rug business. With this, she has increased her earning three times of what she used to earn in the past. Now, she earns Rs 60,000 a month. “It does not matter if your business is small or big. It's better to have a business of your own,” Punu said.
In coordination with World Education Nepal, Rural Women Creative Forum (RWCF) is providing a loan of Rs 25,000 to the local women with the objective of empowering them financially. This boosted Punu's confidence and she decided to have her own business. “I weave about three rugs in a month and I sell them for twenty thousand each,” she said. According to her, she has earned about Rs 300,000 over the last five months. After a month, she will also get rid of the burden of debt.
RWCF has been conducting this program to improve the living standard of women who were badly affected by the catastrophic earthquake of 2015.
After making the rugs, Punu sells them in Bouddha. “There is high demand for rugs in that place. So, there is no problem of market,” she said. She further informed Republica that the rugs are also exported to the European countries. According to her, threads worth Rs 6,000 to 8,000 are enough to make a rug. “It takes a lot of hard work but it is not a business of loss,” she said.
Before her marriage, she had stayed in Kathmandu for a long time when she learned the skills of weaving and knitting. Immediately after marriage, her husband developed a disease which caused his body to shrink. He became physically weak and fragile in the absence of timely treatment. Since then, Punu has been taking the responsibility of her husband's medicines, son's school fees and other needs. In the past, even after working day and night, she could make not more than Rs 18,000 a month which was not enough to meet the family's expenses.
As she has a good income now, she has sent her son to Kathmandu for higher studies. Her son is doing his Bachelor's degree in business studies. “If you have the will and dedication, nothing is impossible,” Punu said.