"We were largely reliant on paddy for our sustenance prior to 2016, when PRADAN NGO introduced us to vegetable cultivation" Sunita Hasdeo, a 26 year old explained to us while travelling around her vegetation, "In 2017, I cultivated Brinjal in upper land, then Bitter gourd, and in 2019, I grew Brinjal again." Sunita, a woman from the Santhal tribe, is uneducated, yet she appreciates the PRADAN's assistance.
"My husband is a farmer, and agriculture is our family's primary source of income. Our livelihood has much improved as a result of vegetable cultivation; today we earn more than ₹ 15,000 per year from it in addition to our daily needs," Sunita explained. She now considers herself an "Agricultural entrepreneur" because she not only grows her own veggies but also encourages other women to start vegetable growing on their own land. Sunita resides in Sundarpari village, Godda, Jharkhand, where paddy is the principal crop. Paddy is often grown in lowland areas with sufficient water availability, whereas upper land is typically left uncultivated. These women used solar water lifters to irrigate the vegetable land as part of the STaRtuP (SHG driven Transformation of Rural Communities via Partnership) project, which was supported by the IKEA Foundation.