SOURCE: E-BOOK ON SUCCESS STORIES RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON CIVIL SERVICES DAY 2017
“This will change my life and of women like me who have to slog it out in a very aggressive and unequal fruit and vegetable market. I feel so empowered, e-NAM has leveled the playing field for me,” beams Shashi Bhardwaj, resident of Bhashi, a small village in Solan District located in the mid-Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh.
A widowed mother of three, two daughters who are happily married and a son who works with her on the fields, she is a proud farmer who produces grains, vegetables and fruits along with cash crops such as peas, tomatoes and capsicum.
Shashi Bhardwaj is an educated and aware woman but even to her prospect of a national agricultural market appeared to be a distant and farfetched dream in the beginning. “I went to the training programme with lot of skepticism and reluctance. I had my doubts, but when I got registered and traded through the online portal it was no less than a miracle,” she says happily.
e-NAM has boosted her confidence. Earlier, she used to wait for weeks and at times for months to get her payment. Many times, she was apprehensive and wondered if she was getting a fair deal or not. She always suspected the middlemen. “I am an aware farmer, but even I feel that farmers are cheated by middlemen and bulk-buyers. With e-NAM, I am sure that I am getting my due. The most important thing is that now I can see the possibility of getting in touch with buyers throughout India and anyone can buy my produce,” she says as she waits at Solan mandi with her crop of peas for the online trading to start.
This year, she has already traded more than INR 30,000 worth of peas through the e-NAM portal. Shashi is one of the 4000 empowered farmers registered with the e-Nam portal at Solan Mandi who are keen to move from the cash driven, unorganized market where you have to be physically present to a situation where one can trade from anywhere. Like her, several others are full of hope and zeal after participation in online trading.