Financial Independence is a major factor for women's empowerment. When women are independent financially, they can lead themselves and society towards novel inception. To restore strong financial control, many small financial institutions have been established for the sake of promotion of saving and lending services which have now been proselytized into large financial institutions producing a large number of financially independent personages.
Established as Woman Awareness Group Ugrachandi Nala (WAGUN) in 2053 BS by some of the active women social workers, Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd has now 1200+ women members who have been able to stand on their own feet with financial independence. The products made by the women of Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd are found in Rolling Bazaar, an online hub for the Nepalese products produced by local innovators. The products like Jagaran Candy, Achar, and many products with the Jagaran Brand are now accessible to the consumers by Rolling Bazaar.
The main vision of Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd is to stabilize the financial condition of the women of Ugrachandi, Nala and the mission is to bring sustainable development financially, socially, and educationally through Co-operative medium. At present time, Nari Jagaran has been successfully accomplishing its mission by further creating more women entrepreneurs from Nala.
Let’s learn more about Nala Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd from one of the founding members of the institutions who had already worked as President, Treasurer, and member of the Co-operative and now involving as the Advisory team member for the organization, Nirmala Shrestha:
1. When did this organization form? For what purpose?
Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd. was initially established as Woman Awareness Group Ugranchandi Nala (WAGUN) in 2053 BS. Most of the women of Nala were the victims of alcoholism and they had to struggle to tackle their hand-to-feet problems. The situation of women was intensely critical back then. With the stalwart initiative of the active women social workers, this organization was formed and many works had been carried out at the beginning such as:
i) Monthly saving from Rs. 5 to 25 in every Toles
ii) Agriculture-based programs
iii) Programs focused on youths such as Tailoring and many others
We began our work with the implementation of such activities and after getting proficient training about Co-operative from Nari Chetana Kendra, WAGUN was officially established as Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd in 2056 BS Jestha 20. Our main goal is to make the women of Nala financially independent by promoting good financial habits and entrepreneurial activities to make them self-sufficient.
2. What other services are provided by Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd apart from saving and lending services?
The institution collects monthly savings according to consumers’ needs, provides loans to the members according to the policies. Apart from the saving and lending services, it provides Emergency Fund services and scholarships for intelligent students who are the daughter/son of the members of the organization. Similarly, the institution frequently organizes Capacity Building programs like leadership training, employment gaining training for the women to build up their confidence level and start on their own. We have been conducting a Community Health Clinic on Sundays.
3. What type of training have Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd. provided to the women?
We have been providing skill-oriented and market-driven training such as Tailoring, Fabric Painting, Candles, soaps, incense sticks, etc., and sanitizer too due to the emerging COVID-19. Many women who had received training from here initiated their own tailoring shops and beauty parlor. In order to achieve the goal of creating more women entrepreneurs, AGM has announced 2077/78 as the Entrepreneurship Development Year. We have initiated creating entrepreneurship in 16 different sectors among which we have successfully created 4 of them. In order to make the products of Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd. commercialized, we recently launched Jagaran Candy which has been registered in Nepal Gharelu Udhyog and it can be found in Rolling Bazaar as well. We have plans on conducting more agricultural programs in the future.
4. How many women have been benefitted from such training?
We have around 1200+ women members in our institution and around 800+ children. Many women who have received training from here have been operating their own shops and activities. Many women are employed and they are financially independent. Furthermore, we have been coordinating with different organizations like SABAH Nepal, Nari Chetana Kendra, and implementing many fruitful activities. Commercial agriculture farming, organic products, goat taming, pictures made from Chhwali, Himalayan Fiber Malas, Aloo Chips, etc were produced and these products were marketed in different exhibitions. There have been many cases of loss of agricultural products due to inorganic compost. We initiated on creating organic compost with the name of Shakti Organic Mal and we have a strong intention of making Nala rich in agriculture and farming.
5. What further programs will Nari Jagaran and Credit Co-operative Ltd. bring for women and the people of Nala?
Women empowerment is our main goal and we have achieved the milestone of empowering many women too. But we believe we need to implement such activities that are purposed with sustainable development and that can bring positive changes in real life. We are focusing on producing more organic products and creating employment opportunities for youths in Nala. Youths are the backbone of development and they are more tech-savvy now. If opportunities are created here, there will be no more brain-drain. We are currently initiating on making commercial farming more exaggerating.
6. What message do you want to convey to the female entrepreneurs right there?
We have enough resources gifted by Mother Nature. If we want to do something, we should have dedication, perseverance, patience, and strong will to achieve the goals. For instance, Lapsi is a special food only found in Nepal and if the products made from Lapsi are commercialized, it can cover the international market too. Women who couldn’t save Rs 5 in past days are now working together to be a successful industrialist. We can create more opportunities by manipulating local resources and lead the country towards development.
Nari Jagaran Saving and Credit Co-operative Ltd. has been consistently working in empowering the women of Nala. It is praiseworthy to say that the development of Nala can somehow be accredited to this organization also. The initiatives pioneered by the institution is making the women independent and providing walloping opportunities to the locals.
Let’s promote and use local products. Let’s encourage such local initiators to reach their milestones.