Rajkumari Devi- Inspiring journey from poverty to Padma Shree.
Padma Shree Rajkumari Devi, also known as Kisan Chachi, is a shining example of empowerment and resilience. Despite facing poverty and societal constraints, she pursued her education and became a pioneer in the field of agriculture. Through her brand, 'Kisan Chachi,' she produced and sold pickles and jams, earning recognition as 'Cycle Chachi' due to her promotion on a bicycle. She also established Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to empower women in the male-dominated field of farming and agri-business. Her efforts were recognized with the prestigious Padma Shree award in 2019. Kisan Chachi's story is a testament to the transformative power of determination and serves as an inspiration for women to break barriers and create positive change in their lives and communities.
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”
This quote from ‘Mother Wit’ by author Diane Marichild fits perfectly into the life of Padma Shree Rajkumari Devi, aka Kisan Chachi, whose life was nothing but an inspiration to thousands of women across the nation. She rose above the social norms and established her own identity without anyone’s help.
Born in a poor family in a small village in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, her dreams were always sacrificed due to poverty. Later she was married at a very young age due to poverty. Still, she never gave up on her education and completed it after marriage despite the protests of her in-laws. She always believed that education is the right that everyone has regardless of their race, colour, or marital status. While studying she also focused on her family and gave birth to three children. After a few years, her family had to go through a partition that left her and her husband with two and a half acres of land, which was not enough to feed a family of five.
Due to the lack of financial support, she decided to take matters into her own hands and joined Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University to study the modern art of agriculture and farming. After completing her studies, she decided to make the most of her skills and started to make ‘pickles and jams’ from the crop she grew and started selling them under the brand name she created, ‘Kisan Chachi.’Due to a lack of transportation, she used to promote and sell her products on a bicycle, which earned the nickname ‘Cycle Chachi.’
She became a part of some Self-Help Groups(SHGs) as well. After completing her studies, she started several SHGs to provide help for more women like her, helping them to stand up for themselves, and work in mainstream farming and agri-business which mainly was a male-dominated field. Her SHGs also provided loans and government schemes, such as Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana Or the National Urban Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NULM), which earned her Padma Shree in 2019 for her contributions in the field of agriculture.
Padma Shree Rajkumari Devi, or Kisan Chachi, exemplifies the transformative power of women. Her life journey, from overcoming poverty and societal norms to pursuing education and establishing Self-Help Groups, is a testament to her unwavering determination and resilience. Kisan Chachi's story serves as an inspiration, highlighting that every woman possesses the ability to create, nurture, and transform not only her own life but also the lives of others. Her remarkable achievements demonstrate how one woman's belief and determination can ignite positive change, empowering communities and inspiring countless others to strive for self-dependency and success.