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They strive to be the largest self-help group empowering 200 rural women by year 2020 : Beautiful Earth

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Priya Dahal is no different than any of us. Born in the northeastern state of Sikkim, in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, she calls herself an avid trekker and nature lover. A former student of Amity university, she returned to Sikkim from Delhi to do something that she loved. She accepts that she failed many a times in understanding what she wanted to do and what would keep up her passion for creative work. But today she proudly follows her passion, as well as inspires and empowers many other lives.

Hamper by Beautiful Earth
Photo: Hamper by Beautiful Earth

It was while she was working on one of the villages in Sikkim she noticed that women of her mother’s age was working in a construction sight, and when asked, was getting paid very less for the same.  She says,”I was so upset with the situation. I called them and asked if they would like to take creative work to empower themselves.” At first thy doubted her, and so she had to get involved with Panchayat there, and organise various awareness programs on women empowerment to make them believe in her vision.

Today she runs ‘Beautiful Earth’, a soap making venture. It’s a women self help group and an inspiring face of women empowerment in rural areas in Sikkim.

Beautiful Earth Products
Photo: Beautiful Earth Products

She credits the gram panchayat of Poklok Denching GPU for having invested one time honorarium to buy raw materials for the first batch of soaps. Also, she understands the challenge of getting her product across people, since each of them is skin conscious and therefore, sold their first batch of soaps to acquaintances, while the second batch was all on references. From having struggled when started to make place among well established soap companies, now, she has sold her products to European market and many states from South India, North India and North East India, all via facebook and telephone. Beautiful Earth is a self funded project and has no outlets. She is all praises for her team members and clients, for making Beautiful Earth a trusted soap making venture.

Kosheli by Beautiful Earth
Kosheli by Beautiful Earth

Initially having 40 members, it once shrunk to a group of 7 members. Today they are 34 women including in house production team, sales team, agents and dealers. Their aim is to be financially stable while empowering each other. Priya says,”In my organisation, 20% of profit is saved to buy raw materials and rest is divided equally among all. This has brought the sense of ownership in each one of them. Today I am so proud of my team that they have learned to make soaps on zero wastes. We are a big family. We are looking forward to be a team of 200 women by 2020.”

Priya thanks her family for all the love and support she received while she started on this project. She doesn’t remember deciding to quit because she feels, it’s not just about her passion, but also about dreams and livelihood of her team. The satisfaction and contentment of her fellow sisters is what keeps her motivated. She is not interested in setting up any branches, but dreams to make Pokluk Denchung village, the village in Sikkim for soap production.

Priya sign offs with a message: “It’s easy to call oneself an entrepreneur. However, an entrepreneur must bring some positive changes in the community too. ”

Reach them on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/My-Beautiful-EARTH-520764698106464/

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