SUCCESS STORIES: Weaving Her Way To The Top
Living with an extended family of nine, Rukma Aitwal from Byas – 1, Chhomru keeps herself busy with rug-making. The Aitwal family descends to the district headquarters of Darchula once a year to avoid the harsh climate of Byas, the northernmost part of Darchula. Whilst in Darchula, Aitwal likes to create rugs with the support of family members and friends. With one rug costing up to Nrs 6,000, Rukma comfortably makes up to Nrs 30,000 a month, enough to feed her large family and invest in more materials for the rug-making. The support from MEDEP, a flagship poverty alleviation initiative of the Government of Nepal-Ministry of Industry and UNDP provided Aitwal with weaving equipment when she started a good five years ago. Byasis are well-known for weaving quality rugs. Through MEDEP, she has also been presented with opportunities to travel across to Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar where micro-entrepreneurs like her get to showcase and sell their products at various town fairs. Advanced training from MEDEP also helped her enrich the quality of her products. Talking about her journey as a micro-entrepreneur, Aitwal confidently adds “Through MEDEP, we have not only learned to produce but also to sell. We hope to start a permanent shop in Darchula where people will be able to buy the rugs throughout the year”.