Home Inspirational Incomes Rs 1 Cr, Bastar Man’s Forest-To-Fork ‘Bazaar’ Transforms Tribal Lives

Incomes Rs 1 Cr, Bastar Man’s Forest-To-Fork ‘Bazaar’ Transforms Tribal Lives

Incomes Rs 1 Cr, Bastar Man’s Forest-To-Fork ‘Bazaar’ Transforms Tribal Lives


Within the dense Bastar forests of Chhattisgarh, indigenous communities grapple with restricted employment alternatives. Relying solely on their land for sustenance, the bountiful yields from the forests may doubtlessly unlock the door to prosperity.

But, for many years, the state of affairs has remained unsettled. Hindered by a lack of information relating to market costs within the mandi (a vegetable market), the homeowners of those merchandise usually fall sufferer to exploitative middlemen. What stays for the diligent farmers is a paltry revenue and an ongoing battle for survival.

Spanning an unlimited district in Chhattisgarh, this area is a big producer of tamarind, custard apple, jamun, and extra. Regardless of their tireless efforts, the hardworking ladies within the space discover themselves with restricted avenues for each independence and revenue.

Having grown up in a village on the border of Chhattisgarh, Satendrasingh Lilhare noticed the difficulty firsthand. In a bid to help tribal ladies, he initiated a forest-to-fork enterprise, promoting produce on to the market, and eliminating intermediaries.

“Bastar Se Bazaar Tak is a enterprise that holds a particular place in my coronary heart. It’s devoted to ladies, very like my mom and aunt, who’ve skilled a lifetime of relentless wrestle,” he passionately conveys to The Higher India.

Satendrasingh’s journey began when he was a younger boy and spans a long time of wrestle, right here is his journey. 

The Journey From Bastar to Bazaar 

Founded by Satendrasingh Lilhare, 'Bastar Se Bazaar Tak' is a forest-to-fork venture that gives work opportunities to tribal women.
Based by Satendrasingh Lilhare, ‘Bastar Se Bazaar Tak’ is a forest-to-fork enterprise that provides work alternatives to tribal ladies. Image credit score: Satendrasingh

Raised by his Maa and Maasi (mom and aunt), Satendrasingh Lilhare grew up intimately acquainted with the challenges confronted by tribal ladies. “My mom and aunt would toil for hours on the farms, solely to obtain a meagre revenue. Our family, my training, and our well-being had been all contingent on a really modest amount of cash,” he displays.

Coming from a financially constrained background, Satendrasingh harboured a persistent dream of bettering his household’s circumstances. “Training was my solely escape from this cycle. In order that’s what I pursued. Most of my training, from school to highschool, was made attainable via scholarships,” he shares.

Whereas Satendrasingh ventured out of his village, he all the time sensed that his path would finally lead him again residence. “I used to be away from residence, however I all the time knew that sooner or later in my life, I might return and work with tribal ladies. I devoted nearly a decade to the social and developmental sector to know its dynamics,” he explains.

The idea of “Bastar Se Bazaar Tak,” crystallised throughout his tenure with a non-profit organisation in Bastar. “I realised that the first problem confronted by ladies and farmers within the space is the prevalence of middlemen. They seldom obtain a good value for his or her produce, and the income find yourself within the intermediary’s pocket,” he notes, expressing his need to know the intricacies of the enterprise earlier than launching his enterprise. “I accomplished a two-year course in enterprise administration earlier than beginning Bastar Se Bazaar Tak,” he provides.

One of many preliminary challenges in organising his enterprise was reaching the distant areas the place these ladies resided. “Regardless of being from the close by area, they perceived me as an outsider,” he remarks.

“I used to be fortunate sufficient to seek out folks from the villages who had been in contact with the farmers who helped me. I went and defined how I needed to assist them earn a greater dwelling and win their belief. After months of assembly ladies from totally different villages, I used to be capable of begin the enterprise,” he says. 

 Satendrasingh has 1,550 tribal women working with him from the villages in and around Bastar. 
Satendrasingh has 1,550 tribal ladies working with him from the villages in and round Bastar. Image credit score: Satendrasingh

In 2020, he based the enterprise and sells the merchandise beneath the model identify ‘Forest Naturals’. 

‘I don’t wish to do charity’ 

Whereas doing one thing for his folks was all the time on Satendra’s thoughts, he had two paths to select from — charity or enterprise. 

“I firmly consider that girls and tribal communities will not be in search of one other non-profit organisation to easily do one thing. They need tangible jobs and employment alternatives. When the choice fell upon me, I opted to offer them with a real avenue for revenue,” he states, emphasising that the response has been overwhelmingly optimistic.

Speaking about how the corporate works, Satendrasingh informs, “Our enterprise mannequin works in 3 ways — now we have direct intervention, social facet and collaboration with the federal government. We have now direct contact with some farmers, and we additionally collaborate with the some panchayats which assist us procure the merchandise. As soon as they’re procured, we rent ladies to type, pack and distribute the produce whereas we even have chilly storage to retailer the gadgets for the long run.”

He explains additional, “At Bastar Se Bazaar Tak, we adhere to a good measurement and pricing system. Girls convey their produce and obtain the market value with none commissions. As well as, our enterprise actively employs ladies for duties corresponding to washing, sorting, and grading the produce. This strategy not solely ensures honest compensation but additionally contributes to the creation of versatile and supportive native employment alternatives.” 

The model sells a plethora of merchandise which embrace fruits and nuts, greens, fish and recreation, medicinal vegetation, resins, essences, and fibres. At present, Satendrasingh has 1,550 tribal ladies working with him from the villages in and round Bastar. 

The merchandise are delivered and have demand everywhere in the nation together with cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Raipur, amongst others. 

The venture also actively employs women for tasks such as washing, sorting, and grading the produce.
The enterprise additionally actively employs ladies for duties corresponding to washing, sorting, and grading the produce. Image credit score: Satendrasingh

To this point, the corporate has bought 50 tonnes of produce since its inception and has been capable of make Rs 1 crore in income up to now. The merchandise can be found to purchase on Amazon or in Jio Mart. 

Among the many hundreds of ladies working with Satendrasingh is Pancho Jyoti. “My life has utterly modified since I began working with Satendrasingh bhaiya (older brother). Earlier, I needed to carry the tamarinds to the market solely to get a minimal amount of cash. However now, folks from his firm come and take the produce. Inside ten days, we get a good value for our produce transferred into our accounts,” she says. 

A mom of three, Pancho is now capable of uplift their dwelling requirements. “I used to earn Rs 1,000-1,500 after a month of arduous work earlier than. However right here we get almost Rs 5,000-6,000, relying on the produce, each 20-25 days. He has given us ajivika (livelihood) and a greater way of life,” she provides. 

(Edited by Padmashree Pande)



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