23 Jan 2014

Their Cups of Joy are Full An inspiring story of Karaikal Cup makers

Though commerce graduates, B. Pushkala and Sasikala were like any other housewife in the locality doing their day to day household chores. But when they grouped themselves under a Self Help Group powered by Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), these women became role models for entrepreneurs in the whole of Puducherry. Their success story tells us how PMEGP, a credit linked subsidy programme of the Central Government, benefited thousands of small entrepreneurs across the country.

Pushkala and Sasikala, along with seven other women of Karaikal Kothalampet locality, formed a Self Help Group by the name 'Navratna Mahalir Self Help Group' four years ago. Now this group has emerged as one of the largest suppliers of paper cups and plates in Karaikal district. 

They began with a capital of Rs. 9 lakhs given as loan by Indian Bank, Karaikal branch, under PMEGP scheme. With Rs. 6.5 lakhs they purchased the paper cup machine from Sivakasi and the rest of the amount they invested on raw materials. The group received asubsidy of Rs. 2.75 lakhs in between.

Under the brand name Karaikal Paper Cup, the group is currently catering to the needs of Karaikal port besides being the wholesale cup dealers in Karaikal and suppliers of cups to the coffee shops in and around the town.

 Within four years they managed to repay about 6.5 lakh rupees of the loan amount. Apart from paying for rent, electricity and other expenses, these women manage to take home around Rs. 1500 per month from their profits. 

"Now that the business is expanding…. we are planning to procure another paper cup making machine" says M. Thiruvalar Selvi, another member of the group. With people like Pushkala and Sasikala setting inspiring examples, Indian Bank, the lead bank of the district, is receiving more and more enquiries related to PMEGP nowadays. It is the women who are the flag bearers of such government schemes, feels Shri Dharmalingam, Chief Manager of Indian Bank, Karaikal.

Yes, these women, whose cup of joy is full, have truly shown the way to many others.


Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) has been introduced by merging the two schemes, Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) and Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP). The scheme, launched on 15th August, 2008, is being implemented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a statutory organization under the administrative control of the Ministry of MSME, as the single nodal agency at the national level.

 At the state level, the Scheme is being implemented through State KVIC Directorates, State Khadi and Village Industries Boards (KVIBs) and District Industries Centres (DICs) and banks. The Government subsidy under the Scheme will be routed by KVIC through the identified banks for eventual distribution to the beneficiaries / entrepreneurs in their bank accounts.

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