financially independent

Smt. Madhulika Ramteke


A social worker turned entrepreneur who encouraged women to be financially independent- Smt. Madhulika Ramteke

It is believed that only men can financially lead the house but some women break the stereotype and prove themselves that they are no less but equally capable. This is a story of one such social worker from Rajnandgaon, Chattisgarh.

Smt. Madhulika Ramteke comes from a community where caste discrimination is still deeply rooted. She experienced this difference between lower caste and higher caste while she was young and was not allowed to play with other kids. Then her father gave her the example of Dr B.R Ambedkar as how he changed his life through education and earned the respect he deserved. Madhulika then followed his steps and his teachings. She was a bright student throughout her schooling and encouraged other parents to send their daughters to school. She firstly taught her parents how to read and write and then helped other illiterate girls nearby her house.

Smt. Madhulika then took another step where she with other females of her village made a Self Help Group and started serving the village which was highly opposed by the men living in the village but later they realized that the ladies were working for the betterment of the village by organizing camps on serious issues like education, vasectomy, sanitation, drug use, conservation of water etc.

In 2001, she and her groupmates started a bank in which they deposit all the savings and named it ‘Maa Bamleshwari Bank’. This bank was fully run by women which made them feel empowered and used this money whenever they were in need. The total amount today in this bank accounts to ₹40 crores.

 Unity is very powerful, it is difficult to survive alone but in a group there is power. Whatever I am today is because of my group – Madhulika

In the year 2016, Madhulika and her Self Help Group made 3 societies. First included milk production of up to 1000 litre which they started to sell locally and to hotels and restaurants. Another society was for the cultivation of Hara Bahera which is an ayurvedic herb that helps in curing cough, cold and builds immunity, along with this they also cultivated rice but in smaller quantities. And the last society commenced with the cultivation of Sitafal and processing ice cream through it. The main objective of her behind all this was to make other women independent and increase their standard of living. She always thought of not only empowering herself but also women around her.

 Under the NABARD’s scheme Livelihood and Enterprise Development Programme (LEDP), 10 women including Madhulika founded a company with a contribution of 10,000 ₹ each and named it Bamleshwari Mahila Producer Company Ltd. The company now holds a share range of ₹100-₹10,000. This company manufactures vermicompost and vermiwash, these tw2o are the biological manures that increases soil fertility, increased yield and have no side effect on the environment. Madhulika once experimented on 2 patches of fields where she had put chemical fertiliser in one patch and vermicompost in another and she noticed that the product quality and taste was better in the field which had vermicompost. Other products are also manufactured here but hold a small production quantity such as agarbatti, herbal gulal made from Palash flower which is 100% herbal.

 As quoted by Smt. Madhulika Ramteke “We are earning for ourselves but by eating chemical sprayed food all the nutrients are lost, and our hard-earned money gets wasted on the medicines which are caused by the overuse of fertilisers


  • Awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar, 2021by President of India, Mr Ramnath Kovind
  • Akhil Bhartiya Mahila Kranti Parishad – 2017
  • Rajya Mahila Sammaan – 2014

                                               Future plans

She wants to open a new brand named ‘Gaonwali’ in which she and the self-help group will firstly manufacture haldi, Mirchi, dhaniya and then move on to manufacture other spices on a larger scale.

                                       Message to farmers

Looking at today’s farming practices which include nothing but the use of chemicals should be avoided but rather the use of organic manure should be opted by other farmers. She also talks about children putting their old parents in old age homes which is morally wrong. These are the same parents who took care of us when we were young and now when they need help in their old age, they shouldn’t be left alone but caressed the same way as we were by them.