Florist and Farmer
When Geeta was young, she had to quit school to take care of her younger siblings, as is still the case for many girls in rural India. With all the family responsibilities on her shoulders, she chose to remain single. Life took a turn for the better when UN Women's SCE programme was launched in her village. With convergence under the DAFE APC project, wherein agriculture production clusters are being promoted around high-value crops, Geeta chose to experiment with marigold cultivation on her land. With most women remaining skeptical, Geeta was the subject of ridicule from menfolk in the village. This however turned into a surprise when Geeta earned a handsome profit of INR 35,000 in the first year itself. In the second and third years, she has continued with this new and remunerative crop and also expanded the cultivation area. Last year, she managed to earn INR 70,000 from this market enterprise. In 2022, she also plans to cultivate cut-flower varieties such as Gladioli. She also runs a solar spice processing unit and by processing ginger which grows abundantly in the area, she has managed to make an additional INR 15,000. She is a leader and member of Pragati FPO and has contributed to sharing the success stories of commercial enterprises with women in the adjoining villages. With her newfound energy and confidence, she is determined to get her young siblings well-educated. Besides these economic activities, she is a gender trainer and has led many campaigns on issues such as anti-alcohol, skill, and employment awareness in her community. She is a calculated risk-taker and this year, taking inspiration from her example, women have taken up marigold cultivation on 60-70 acres. She continues to be an active member of the GPLF. Her younger sister, who has completed her college education, considers Geeta as her role model. Recently, Geeta has also completed constructing her own house.
State : Odisha
Gender : Female
Sector : Agriculture & Forestry