Kamal Kumbhar was born in Osmanabad, Maharashtra to a daily-wage labourer. Living in absolute poverty, where three meals a day was a luxury, there was no room to think about education. As a result, after a failed marriage, she was financially vulnerable. However, she fought against the odds to start a business venture and is now providing livelihood opportunities to thousands of women like her.
Kamal started Kamal Poultry and Ekta Producer Company in 1998 with no knowledge of business or marketing, with a meagre sum of Rs 2,000. Twenty years later, the company brings in about Rs 1 lakh every month. Apart from that, she has so far mentored more than 5,000 women from her state to set up similar enterprises and become self-sufficient. According to Sunday Guardian Live, she said,
“Our region is severely affected by drought and that makes agriculture a very unstable source of income. This is why I want all the women in my village and all the neighbouring villages to find different sources of income.”
Despite starting her first enterprise with no experience, Kamal now owns six business ventures. She also plays a key role in making sure that vulnerable sections of her state have access to renewable energy.
To appreciate her contribution to society, earlier this year, then President Pranab Mukherjee felicitated her with the CII Foundation's Woman Exemplar award, aimed at acknowledging and celebrating women achievers who act as agents of social change.
The United Nations Development Programme is also acknowledging her efforts by giving her the Woman Transforming India award which she will receive before the end of 2017.
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