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Modernizing traditional profession, leathersmiths in Sindhukot set up a tannery

"It took us weeks to slice a hide. Now after installation of this machine, it can be sliced in 2 hours!" Exclaims Sabina Bogati of Sindhukot-4 where a community of leathersmiths has recently been able to install a leather processing facility.

Traditionally backward and underprivileged Sarki community are struggling hard to come out of abject poverty and fight backwardness. All 85 households in the ward have united themselves, formed a cooperative and are taking initiatives to modernize the profession.

June 9 marked special day in their life as they inaugurated newly built Common Facility Centre (CFC) and a new leather trimming machine bought through NRs. 1.3 million support of Micro-Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP). MEDEP, a joint initiative of the Government of Nepal and UNDP through the funding support of AUSAid, also trained and provided 6 stitching machines to the micro entrepreneurs'group.

Sabina believes that their work now is going to be a lot easier, faster and cleaner.  She further adds, "Now we will be able to produce quality products in greater quantity and work in clean environment."

Through this leather processing facility and machine, altogether 700 people from 85 Sarki households in Sindhukot ward no 4 and 82 households in surrounding VDCs will be benefitted.

Marketing and Appropriate Technology Specialist of MEDEP Narendra K. Rasaily said, " MEDEP has been supporting the micro-entrepreneurs’ group by signing result based sub-contracting with Business Development Services Providing Organizations for different type of  entrepreneurship development trainings and does further facilitation to make entrepreneurs resilient.  To let them develop a full-fledged enterprise  for hardcore poor, MEDEP provided financial support to purchase this machine through BDSPO/DMEGA."

Rasaily added, "They have proven that if government of Nepal could facilitate making enabling environment for accessing of raw materials (raw leathers) and  other organizations support them in marketing and acquisition of appropriate technology, they can very well run an enterprise."   

Ram Sharan Mijar, an entrepreneur and teacher at a local school says that the collective efforts by the community have led to the success and every adult in the community is now employed. "This facility has so much impacted the lives that when human resource outflow has become great concern for the country, nobody from these 85 households has migrated outside for work, not even to Kathmandu", added Mijar.

Another youth entrepreneur Santa Bahadur Bogati who is also continuing his Bachelor level study in a nearby Indrawati Campus, Melamchi, said, "If this model can be replicated, we will be able to continue with our traditional profession; come out of poverty; and not a single person will have to go outside the village or abroad for employment."

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