“ ………. Story of Saraswati Dolui”

“ ………. Story of Saraswati Dolui”

Every human being struggles for survival in his/her life, but Saraswati is incomparable. She can say, “Look at me to see, how to combat with life…..”


Saraswati Dolui is a lady of 38 years, presently lives with her mother in their own house at Narendrapur village of Nandakumarpur Gram Panchayt. She is the eldest daughter of her parents and has three younger brothers and three younger sisters. They have only four bighas of cultivable land and her father was a farmer. The family of Saraswati was really poor, as except cultivation in such piece of land there was no other option to her father for earning and it was too difficult for him to maintain their nine (9) member’s family. Even, they spent some days when they didn’t get two square meals. Her mother used to collect leafy vegetable from the neighborhood preparing food. Despite such hardship, Saraswati from her very childhood was growing up along with her parents and younger siblings. She was reading in a school at Narendrapur village and always used to take leadership to guide her brothers and sisters.

Her life turned from the regular track when she was only 14 years old and reading in class IX. Her father arranged her marriage and she got married with Mr. Nokul Mirda, a farmer of Nandakumarpur village. Since her marriage their relationship was not like normal husband and wife, she was being misbehaved by her husband and gradually after six months, her fate went against her. Her married life couldn’t sustain and she was separated from her husband at her 15 years of age. In this situation she was enormously upset yet, returned to her parents. Her husband, after two/three month got married again with a woman of the locality, but Saraswati didn’t.

After few days Saraswati turned up. She could look ahead of her life and thought, she has to walk long way of her life alone. She threw up her dark past and determined to study again. Because she could foresee; doing something in life to stand with own feet minimum education is required. She started tuition of little kids to meet up her educational expenses. Gradually she completed secondary education and then passed class XI. She had dream in her both eyes to complete graduation yet; couldn’t go beyond Class XI due to financial constraint. Again, she defeated by her fortune.

Turning point of Saraswati

Her mother Ms. Sefali Dolui was a member of Self-help group (SHG) in Narendrapur village and was a group leader. She inspired Saraswati to join a SHG and Saraswati knew about the details of SHG from her mother. She joined a group in the year 2001, started saving practice with the earning from tuition and after few days she took the leadership of the group. Gradually, she became quite efficient in group operation, record keeping and financial management. Few days later, she became a member of SHG cluster and simultaneously, associated with the SHG unit of Sabuj Sangha and learnt computer operation. Saraswati gained experience day by day, started holding confidence upon her and always felt, her internal sole was cheering her, “run Saraswati run faster, don’t be defeated in any circumstances”. From this point she didn’t look back, but ahead.

Time rolled as usual, and in 2014 the SHG Federation was registered as “Sundarban Mohila Swanirbhar Gosthi Cooperative Socilty Limited”, which is women owned and women managed and Saraswati became a Board Member of the society. Before such initiative series of training, orientation and handholding support have been provided to develop managerial capacity of the SHG and Federation members. Now Saraswati is much more confident handling any issue of the cooperative society. She guides and inspires other women to be involved in SHGs and makes them aware about the benefit being a member of such groups.

In the mean time her all the younger brothers and sisters got married, separated from her family and stay in other places with their own families. Saraswati’s father died five years back, her mother don’t want to stay with her sons but with Saraswati in her husband’s house. Her brothers’ even sisters never want to know about the well and owe of Saraswati and their mother, but sometimes ask her for financial help. Saraswati with her broad mind-set never minds all such things, but tries to help if possible.

In the same year 2014, Sabuj Sangha established one Bakery unit named ‘Sundarba German Bakery’ at Nandkumarpur with the support of Hansiatic India Forum, Germany opening an opportunity for income generation for SHG women. Some of the SHG women were provided training who manages the production unit and during the last three years they gained considerable experience in producing good quality of bread, cookies, cakes etc.

How Saraswati functions today

The SHG unit is presently being run under the leadership of cooperative society and Saraswati being a board member is solely involved in its functions. She goes house to house of SHG women by bi-cycle for collection of savings and loan repayment amount from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm and provides receipt through Prose Machine to each and every individual. She comes back in the office and makes entries of collections by individual name from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm.

                     Saraswati engaged in collection

After office she comes to Sundarban German Bakery unit and takes breads about 45 pounds in big bags, hangs the bags in the bi-cycle and carries those to supply in shops of different villages around Nandakumarpur.

  Entering collection record in computer

Sometimes, Saraswati also assists other SHG women working in the Bakery for packaging/ leveling of breads in her spare times. Presently she supplies breads in 13 shops, also sales as retailer to any family or individual. She covers four villages and travels about 25 kilometers every day in the evening. This service is non-stop and supplies breads 30 days a month. She faces trouble supplying breads during monsoon due to rainfall and as a measure uses one plastic cover to save breads from rain, but never stops. Saraswati is continuing this job with hard labour since last 14 months. Presently she is getting Rs. 3,500.00 for her service for collection and office job and earning about Rs. 6,000.00 to Rs. 7,000.00 against supply of breads. Thus, Saraswati earns about Rs. 10,000.00 per month.

Establishment of the German Bakery has really created a great opportunity for income generation; not only for Saraswati but also for many other women those who are being benefitted from the Bakery. Saraswati, during her daily functions motivates and influences other women to be involved in the Bakery like her to explore means of earning.

Presently, her life has totally changed. She is exceptionally confident taking challenge, has zeal and will-power, highly self-esteemed, happy with her job and she thinks, nothing is impossible if somebody tries hard. Obviously, the success story of Saraswati can be a ‘Role Model’ for others.        

                                                                          Saraswati carrying breads to supply in shops