After Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned her in his latest ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme on Sunday, Geeta Devi said she hopes she will finally have a solar charkha of her own, which he briefly mentioned in his address.
During the radio programme, the PM said, “The experiment with the solar energy based charkha has been successful. The (physical) labour has gone down, production has increased, and there has been a qualitative change. Those using a solar charkha have been sending me lots of letters. Geeta Devi and Komal Devi of Rajasthan and Sadhna Devi of Nawada in Bihar have written to me saying that their lives have changed drastically because of the solar charkha. They say their income has doubled.”
Geeta, who currently works on the solar charkha at Khadi Gram Udyog Bhawan in Dausa, said: “I’m happy the PM mentioned my name. My grandmother, mother, mother-in-law have all worked on the charkha. Solar charkha has indeed brought down the physical labour.”
The 45-year-old from Baba Ji Ki Chhawni village in Dausa said her income tripled since she started working on the solar charkha. “Earlier, I would earn only Rs50-60 per day. But now, I’m able to make as much as Rs150 daily,” said Geeta, who has “not even gone to Class 1”.
“My parents could not afford to send me to school. I had dictated the letter I sent to the PM.”
Although the solar charkha has brought more money, Geeta said she is still struggling. “My husband (a tailor) makes less money than I do,” she said. Her daughter is married and of the four boys, only one is studying.
“Komal and I are the only ones who work on the charkha at the Khadi Gram Udyog Bhawan. After the PM mentioned us, we wish to own these charkhas and work from home,” she said, hoping to earn better.