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Kerala woman beats all odds to forge life as blacksmith, support family

Remya P P

She is an average girl from a traditional family in North Kerala who has broken all stereotypes and overcome tough challenges to build an independent life as a blacksmith to support her family. Remya P P from Panniyoor in Kannur chose to pursue her family occupation as a blacksmith after her life took a challenging turn when her alcoholic husband died of cancer, leaving Remya and her two children in deep financial trouble and emotional turmoil.

Despite the daunting circumstances, the 27-year-old Remya refused to succumb to despair. Drawing on the skills she had learned from a young age watching her father and grandfather working at their smithy, she decided to start a smithy of her own to produce farming tools such as sickles and spades.

“I was married off while I was pursuing my second year of graduation in psychology. I had to leave the college due to family commitments. I soon found my life in distress because of my husband’s alcohol addiction. Things became worse when he stopped providing for the family. I was left with no other choice but to find a source of income to take care of myself and my children,” Remya told “Open Digest“.

Remya worked as a plastic waste collector for Haritha Karma Sena under Kudumbasree for a few months, but the idea to start her own venture stuck when she attended a business consultant training program organised by Kudumbasree. The training program gave her the confidence to pursue the occupation of blacksmith, which she was very familiar with. In 2023, she launched her small venture called “Farmers @ Login” to make efficient and durable farming tools.

“Things weren’t easy in the initial days. Our finances went for a toss when my husband was diagnosed with blood cancer. I didn’t want to give up and stayed strong, realising that I have to take care of my family,” said Remya.

After her husband Satheesh Kumar’s death, Remya put her heart and soul into her venture, which soon turned out to be a hit, providing her with a steady source of income. Today, her smithy produces a wide range of farming equipment, such as ploughs, cultivators, seed drills, and so on. Remya also works as a micro enterprise consultant with the Kudumbasree mission.

“There was a time when I didn’t have Rs 10 with me to buy a packet of biscuits for my children. But my venture gave me the confidence to move on. Now, I am really happy that I could build a business of my own, which is providing money to take care of my family,” she said. Remya is planning to expand the activities of her smithy by introducing more advanced, cost-effective tools for farmers who cannot afford costly equipment.

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