Ludhiana | Women entrepreneurs carve their own space at Kisan Mela

Amid a range of attractions, millet-based cookies, handcrafted jewellery, designer dresses and other products on display by the women-led startups and support groups attracted particular attention at the two-day Kisan Mela held at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

Determined to bring about positive change in society through their ventures, no fewer than 37 female entrepreneurs from across Punjab showcased and sold their products – both manufactured and processed – at the mela.

Jaspreet Kaur Aujla, a resident of Karodian village in Payal, who took second place in the stable competition, started her support group called Preet Boutique in 2018. “I had a sewing business so I received training in fabric design and embroidery and block printing from PAU and started the business. With six people in our group, we receive orders for dresses from different countries, including Australia and Canada,” she said.

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“I wanted to set an example for rural women, now many women are interested in starting support groups and empowering themselves,” she added.

Amanpreet Kaur, an international javelin player, started her company called Raj Organo Products this year. She sells organic soaps, gel and oil and was trained by Krishi Vigyan Kendra. “I only use herbal ingredients instead of chemicals in my soaps and other products; A lot of people appreciated and bought my products at the fair,” she said.

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Jagir Kaur, an Amritsar resident who founded the Himmati aurtan self-help group in 1985, sells honey and turmeric powder. She received training in beekeeping from PAU and also trains other women in her area.

Alpna Gupta, a Haibowal Kalan resident, founded her bakery unit, Mapic Foods, in 2020. She said she wants to make people aware of the benefits of healthy eating. “Most of the cookies on the market contain flour and palm oil, which can have adverse effects on people’s health. I started my bakery startup and made highly nutritious millet-based cookies containing nuts and herbs, with no palm oil,” she added.

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She said she was trained in bakery at PAU and received support from the Punjab Agri-Business Incubator (PABI), which supports young entrepreneurs.

Kiran Grover, Senior Extension Specialist at Skill Development Centre, PAU, said: “We seek to provide the best and latest technological guidance to female entrepreneurs associated with us. We also organize regular training to help them improve the quality and efficiency of their products.”

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