Breaking Barriers in Rural Communities through Development of Individual Enterprises

Shobha was let go from work as a daily wage labourer for being deaf. Now she runs a dairy with her mother-in-law.

“People with disabilities should be able to start their own businesses,” says Shobha who is from from Maharashtra’s Beed district. ‘My daughter-in-law has a hearing disability accompanied by speech impediments since birth,’ says Saraswati, her mother-in-law who primarily communicates with Shobha in sign language. Growing up, she faced a lot of ridicule from her peers because of her hearing disability.

Doctors told her it was impossible to restore her hearing by operating on her. They prescribed a hearing aid that enabled limited hearing. Shobha often does not realise when someone calls her, which has made it hard for her to hold down a job. Any work was sparse, and she was rarely rehired. Lack of knowledge and practice of disability inclusion at her work made her job as a daily wage labourer harder.

During a survey conducted in her village as part of Project Jaagruti – an initiative supported by CBM India Trust, which identifies people with disabilities and provides them training and financial support to start small-scale enterprises, she was identified as a participant. After discussing various livelihood options with the team, she set up a dairy trade. Her mother-in-law supported her decision and helped her by attending the training sessions and setting up her enterprise. Through the knowledge gained during the training, she understood the responsibilities related to caring for cattle.

Through the Thematic Skill Training which lasted for 90 days, she learnt how to determine the cost of raw materials, where to buy them, the cost of running the business, knowledge on vaccination required for the cattle, different products made from milk, market linkages, profit margins, etc. She now earns 200 rupees per day by selling milk. “I buy groceries for the house and support my two children now. I enjoy working at my dairy farm more than being a daily wage labourer,” says Shobha with confidence and a beaming smile. She also wants to expand her business and start a goat-rearing farm.

Related Stories


A seminar on building community resilience

CBM India Trust conducted a one-day orientation seminar on “Village Disaster Management and Safeguarding Strategy Formulation” in New Tehri, Uttarakhand. Tehri is home to around 6.18 Lakh people…

Read More
flood relief

Project Shakthi lends Gopi Strength in the Aftermath of Floods

Kerala, home to serene backwaters, was rattled by torrential rains, which caused heavy flash floods in August 2018. The state had not seen floods of this magnitude in…

Read More
cyclone fani

Janaki – A Testament to Resilience

Janaki, a 46-year-old woman who has post-polio residual palsy, smiles despite being severely affected by cyclone Fani. The deadly cyclone Fani tore through 14 districts in Odisha on…

Read More