Sikha Nag Das

Casting light on darkness with her candles

Sikha Nag Das, 47, started making candles when she found a good profit in the business in her state. A resident of East Kolabaria village in Tripura, Sikha took a loan from the Belonia branch of Village Financial Services around two years ago to expand her business and to buy materials and a candle-making machine.

Sikha had to drop out of school without writing her Class 10 or Madhyamik exam because her family faced a financial crunch. Today, Sikha employs 15 people—five men and ten women. She pays each of them around Rs 3,000 a month. The factory works in two shifts—from 9am-5pm and then from 6pm-11pm.

Tripura’s intermittent power cuts mean good business for Sikha’s candles, especially among families who cannot afford inverters or generators.

Sikha’s husband Bishnu Pada Das is a door-to-door hawker selling tea leaves and “mixture” or chanachur. He earns Rs 15,000 per month from his business.

Sikha goes to the Sabroom Dak Bungalow Bazar to sell the candles that she manufactures, earning around Rs 20,000 a month.

Sikha is now thinking of adding a machine to make incense sticks, which will bring her more profits. Meanwhile, Sikha and her husband have ensured that their children got an education. Their son is in Class 10, while their daughter, 23, is a graduate and married.

Published on Mar 24, 2021 | Updated on Apr 13, 2022