M. Padma (36) from Neruparichal, D. Manjula Devi (36) and A. Latha (45) from Peritchipalayam, all home makers, have realised that women’s passion for jewellery can never die, subsequent to their recent venture into artificial jewellery business.
The three women were among the nearly 60 members of various women self-help groups (SHGs) who received training in artificial jewellery making under a Micro Entrepreneurship Development Programme sponsored by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Subsequent to the training, many of the beneficiaries have started making artificial jewellery from their homes.
Using plastic beads, threads, imitation stones and a few other raw materials, they make artificial jewellery and sell them in the price range of Rs. 200 to Rs. 5,000.
The women, who were initially sceptical of the economic viability, are now surprised to find reasonably good demand for their products, which was spurred by factors including high cost of gold and frequent chain-snatching incidents.
“With the high gold and silver prices, people in the lower and middle income groups are getting interested in artificial jewellery. We tried innovations in designs and patterns to attract college students and women who wish to wear ornaments but cannot afford gold jewellery”, said Ms. A Latha, who is attached to Kasturi Meenkal SHG.
The women entrepreneurs, however, feel the need for more support from government agencies for bulk sourcing of raw materials and common marketing avenues to increase profitability.
“We can extend financial support to these women to take part in exhibitions”, said NABARD’s Assistant General Manager E. Raju.