Rural Haats have great potential in providing the entrepreneur a regular customer base and an opportunity to earn additional income. They are usually organized once in a week or a month at a place equally accessible by entrepreneurs and people from nearby villages. It connects the entrepreneur to an organized facility where they have access to space, customers and is a cost effective alternative for selling their produce/goods. From the customer point of view, it addresses the accessibility and mobility issue that people from villages often face. A weekly market was organized in Dolabad village of Nimda Gram Panchayat in Dhanarua block in Patna under the Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Program (SVEP). It was inaugurated on 20th September 2018 by the members of Block Resource Centre (BRC) of Dhanarua Block and treasurer from Adarsh CLF in the presence of representatives from Gram Panchayat, Jeevika and mentors from Kudumbashree NRO.
The entrance of the market
Inauguration of the weekly haat
Entrepreneurs and customers in the market
Entrepreneurs selling their produce
The need for a weekly market was realised as people from Dolabad village had to travel more than 8 kms to purchase items for their daily consumption. The village only had around 6 to 7 shops located in different parts and was clearly inadequate to cater the needs of locals. BRC members and CRP-EPs came up with the idea of weekly market which was developed in consultation with the mentors from Kudumbashree NRO and Block Project Manager (SVEP). CRP-EPs were instrumental in selecting the venue and mobilization of entrepreneurs for the market. The Panchayat President who has been supportive of the initiative, arranged the venue for the market free of cost. More than 24 entrepreneurs participated in the weekly market, among them, majority were vegetable vendors (14) and other type of sellers like clothing (2), fish (2), fancy (4) and pani puri stalls (2). Inspite of heavy rains during the day of the event, the market functioned and recorded total sales of Rs. 32,400. The market will function every Thursday and is expected to expand with more entrepreneurs participating in the market who will cater the needs of more than 3500 families residing in 14 nearby villages. The market will be closely monitored by CRP-EPs with the support of Block Project Manager (SVEP) and mentors from Kudumbashree NRO which will include mobilization of more entrepreneurs, maintaining records of sales and tracking footfall for the weekly market.