Smt. Jhunulata Nayak
True dedication & determination is key to success. The story of Smt. Jhunulata is similar to it. Belonging to Sahapur village town of Keonjhar district, Smt. Jhunulata has an aspiration to be independent, which leads her to start a new venture on her own. Married into an agrarian family, she used to farm non-cash crops like paddy in traditional farming methods. The income from paddy farming was not sufficient to cater for the increasing expenses like daily consumption, children’s education and other demand of her family. To ameliorate the family’s economic situation, she started venturing out for new business possibilities. Inspired by the positive outcome of her brother-in-law’s farming, she took an initial loan of ₹20,000 from Annapurna Finance’s Anandpur branch and started mushroom cultivation with the help of her husband. With the initial amount, she bought the seeds, fertilizers, compost & other raw material worth fifteen to twenty tonnes in some ten to fifteen beds. The new business started to become profitable and Smt. Jhunulata was able to earn six to eight thousand rupees after the first cycle. But the amount was not enough, and she kept on trying. Besides doing her daily household chores, she was working harder, to grow and sustain the business. She sells the produced mushrooms in the nearby Anandpur and Keonjhar markets. In a span of mere two years, her business grew exponentially. But the journey of Smt. Jhunulata was never easy & straightforward. During the growth phase of the business, cyclone ‘Fani’ stuck the area, scattering the recently started business as well as the dreams of Smt. Jhunulata. The shallow-built wooden shelter was unable to cope with the gale, destroying all the mushroom beds & spawn. Disheartened by the loss of business, she was thinking to give up at one point. But with the help of Annapurna’s second loan, she started it again. With the ₹40,000 rupees from the second loan, she rebuilt the shelter, this time a stronger one with a concrete structure. She was grateful for all the support & encouragement Annapurna provided during the difficulties. With more than sixty newly laid spawning beds, she started cultivating more than her pre-cyclone production. Currently, her yield stands at fifty to sixty kilograms of mushrooms per day, which she is hopeful of expanding in future with continuous efforts and support. The exemplary journey of Smt. Jhunulata will encourage countless women to pursue their dreams.