A year after graduating, she married in a housewife-seeking baker family. As the pressure mounted to create resources to fund better education for her three children Rachna Dubey started her struggle and transformed the family business for the first time in nearly 75 years. Two years after, she is Jammu’s only address for eggless bakery. Her Giriraj Bakery is manned by nine staffers, with monthly sale touching half a million at a huge three ton flour input, reports R S Gull
A conservative Tarseen Lal Sharma had brought up his three daughters literally in greenhouse. He was employee in Jammu’s DC office and his wife a teacher. They educated their daughters well but rarely could they “cross the border of Jammu”. They knew their responsibility. Educate them and get them settled.
In 1998, Rachna completed her BSc from Women College in Ghandi Nagar. A year after she was wife of Mahesh Dubey. Only son of his father, Mahesh was a commerce graduate. Instead of making an effort to get into the services sector, Dubey’s preferred him to carry on the family business – a bakery they were running for three generations.
Then, they lived in Mastgarh on a link road to Jammu. They had an old traditional oven that would bake the routine Kachuris and Kulchas. The family had missed the bus of improving the systems even as the society had changed, completely. By the time, Rachna started thinking of advising a change, she was mother of three kids.
“I had my kids studying in Judhamal School and one day I seriously felt lack of resources to manage proper education of my two kids,” Rachna said, frequently being interrupted by the clients paying for their orders. “The situation proved so grave that I had to withdraw my kids from the expensive school and get them admitted to an economic Maha Rishi Vidya Mandir.” That proved a turned point.
By then, it had been two years that I was pushing the family to seek a loan and improve the livelihood conditions,” Rachna said. “As the future of my kids was at stake, I came out of my home to hunt for an opportunity.” Instead of finding a job, she wanted to improve the business the family had inherited.
District Industries Centre (DIC) was her first stop. She was giving a peephole introduction of the Prime Minister’s Employement Generation Programme (PMEGP). It had the subsidy element but beyond half a million requirement, she had to go to the bank. It was the collateral part of the plan that discouraged her. “Our property had joint ownership and nobody was willing to mortgage it,” Rachna says. “Then somebody, somebody told me about the EDI and a visit changed my perception about what can be done.”
She had only one option: food processing. But there were not many applicants. “I would keep my youngest kid with my mom and routinely visit the EDI,” she remembers. “One fine day, the officials felt moved that I was going to EDI daily and there was not enough of quorum to start training so they took an internal decision and admitted me in a general course.”
It was March 18, 2012, a day, she says she can not forget when she was in a training class. “It was so different that I had to start unlearning the past to learn the new things, ideas and things that I never knew,” Rachna said, while going through the two “prized” notebooks of the training era, she has preserved as her “monument” and a “prize”. The notebooks have recorded the lecturers, the lecturers, ideas and the process – anything and everything that happened during the training. It also has a dozen odd visiting cards of the experts who visited the trainees, still pinned. “For those hours, I had forgotten that I have a young kid to take care of. I remember April 4, 2012 when my guru said it is over.”