After being debt-ridden for years, these two middle-aged women from Hooghly took up farming and are now inspiring other women in the rural areas.
After spending her entire life as someone’s daughter and then a wife, Shamima Begum from West Bengal’s Molaypur village is now carving her own identity as a farmer.
She recently sold 12 tonnes of potatoes to PepsiCo India, and with the revenue generated, she paid off her husband’s debt. She also purchased household essentials like the fridge and cooking gas and kept aside some money for her daughter’s medical career.
Some 200 kilometres away from Shamima is another woman farmer, Malati, who has a similar story. A resident of Harishchandrapur, Malati has been helping her husband in farming but it was only last year when she independently grew potatoes.
She, too, directed her profits towards fulfilling her needs — a toilet inside the house and a tubewell on the farm to ease the irrigation process.
Both of them decided…