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Gooseberry candy maker speaks of endeavour

IMPHAL | May 13 : “Women are blessed with untold talents. Instead of sitting idle and confining only in household chores, let all women come out of the confines of the four walls of their homes and make use of their talent. This will give them a different taste of life”, said successful woman entrepreneur Khayiwon Sangh from, Ukhrul.

In an exclusive meeting with IFP reporter on Mother’s Day, founder of Ngayam Food, Khayiwon, who is a hardworking and dedicated woman, conveyed that “Work with passion, success will surely follow you like a shadow.”

Sharing some of her experiences she went through in her life to reach this level, she said that her business started when she was broke and left with nothing. The situation compelled her to rely on natural products that grow in nearby forests but she utilizes them without harming the beauty of nature.

khayiwon shanghShe said, “I had a very humble beginning. It was one of those days when I was broke, I went to gather some gooseberry from the nearby forest in Shirui village, bought sugar, made gooseberry candy and sold to people I know for Rs. 50 a packet. Some bought it out of sympathy and gave me very honest feedback about the candy I sold. I continued making more and kept selling as it helped my family to make ends meet. And the place itself inspired me to do this business as it is abundant with wild fruits and vegetables.”

Though her earning began from her small kitchen, her hardwork and dedication turned the business into a success story, grossing more than Rs. 2 lakhs in a month and also providing jobs to 13 people as she was unable to run the food processing unit. The business not only expanded its area coverage but also increase producing items.

The business has been expanded to making pickle, chocolate, rice flakes, cornflakes, fruit wine, sausage, rice rings cassava snacks etc. The pickles is of 46 items and chocolate of three types which includes tamarind, king chilli (U-Morok) and ginger. And the products are exported to Shillong, Delhi and Punjab and she could even meet the demands.

She cited the reason for people liking her products the new fad of health consciousness, and products of ‘Ngayam Foods’ are 100 percent organic and made with care in the most traditional way. It reached this level with so much of struggle due to lack of money to buy essential items that required in this small industry, she recalled.

Her wish is not just about earning. She wanted to spread her skill of making processed food so that other women can generate their own income. With this thought, she trained people in collaboration with ICAR residing in Ukhrul, Chandel, Senapati and Imphal. And they even started their own business unit and so far there are seven such units guided by her.

She gets support from her husband. “My husband worked at a private company, buy quit it and joins in my enterprise”, she said. The graduate drop-out entrepreneur has three children.

She feels that she could not have attained her achievement without the support of ICAR people. “They activate me with courage; I can never forget and will respect always ICAR’s officials Dr. Ngachan Francis, Dr. Narendra Prakash, Dr. IM. Singh, Dr. Roy and Dr. Ramakrishna and other ICAR team” said Khayiwon.

He has her message to youth that “government job is not the only job”, “If you have the will, there is a way. State is bountiful with so many natural treasures. People can make use of it instead of wasting it unnecessarily”.

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