Kamla Devi Shokeen

(Pickle Making)

Rousing Story of a Woman Who Started Her Entrepreneurial Business after Her Retirement And is Successful Today

In India, when a person reaches the retirement age, then his age is almost around 60. And the most common mentality of Indian people after the retirement is, no work after retirement. Because everyone has their own dreams for their golden retirement age- some people want to go on vacations, some people just want to relax and live a normal peaceful life, and some people choose the spiritual path. But there are very few people who like to choose their hobbies and interests after their retirement and pursue it as their second career. One such woman who also didn’t give up after her retirement and started her own business is Kamla Shokeen.

Kamla Shokeen, a woman who is still young by her spirits, started her entrepreneurial career after her retirement. But before getting retired, she was a Physical Education teacher for 39 years in Government School. She had the hobby of pickling berries from the beginning, so after retirement, she thought of changing that hobby into a business, and today she is running her own successful pickle business by the brand name KAMAL AACHAR.

Kamla Shokeen began her pickle business 7 years back in 2010 after getting retired from her teaching profession. And to make her pickles business more professional, she took pickle making training from PUSA Branch- KVK Ujwa under Kamkaji Mahila Kutir Udyog. After getting certification from there, she gathered the deprived and poor women of her village Dichaon Kalan, which is in Najafgarh district, to start her own pickle making and selling business. Today her fruit farm is scattered in 2.75 acres of land, in which she has grown Jujube (Ber), Carissa carandas (Karonda), Indian gooseberry (Amla), Java Plum (Jamun), and Guava trees for pickle making. And she manages all the work with the help of few workers. To maintain the good yield of the trees she never uses chemical fertilizers. She only uses vermicompost (kenchue ki khaad).

By qualification, Kamla Shokeen is MA in Political Science, but when she started pickle business after retirement, at that time, then she never felt that the work she is going to do is low grade or not of her level. Even her husband- Mr. Mulchand Shokeen, who is a retired director from GDA; two sons, out of which, one is pilot and other is an engineer by profession; one daughter- who is a doctor by profession; and two daughter-in-laws- both are teachers by profession, supported her in her venture.

Today, she is 69 by age, but her gusto of pursuing her hobby never went down since day one after her retirement. Kamla Shokeen always tried to give her best efforts, during her teaching career and as well as for her pickle business. She even received “Best Teacher Award” for her teaching from the school. And after starting the pickle business she was also awarded by PUSA for Best Quality of Aachar.

Generally, she visits events, exhibitions, and fairs to sell her handmade pickles, but to make her products available to more people she has opened a small shop in her house. Most visited fairs, where she earns the most profit by selling her pickles are Pragati Maidan and PUSA Fair. In a year she earns more than 60-70,000 from her pickles business. And in the future, she is planning to include more varieties in her pickles collection- like mango and lemon. Whenever someone comes to her for guidance related to pickles making business, she never refuses them and always provides true advice and suggestions. Till now she has suggested many people to take training from PUSA so that, they can also start their own business.

Message By Kamla Shokeen
Rather than sitting idly on a chair all day long and doing nothing, it’s better to make yourself useful. I started working after my retirement because, I had the interest in pickling and I didn’t want to be bored. From my pickle business, I’m also able to support the poor people of my village. According to me, every woman should use her skills and hobbies to make herself independent even after the marriage, but before that they should complete their education.