By Serene Amatya, Student, MBA Agribusiness
Under the project titled ‘Dhanushadham Market Study’, on February 13 2020, the research team comprising of three faculties and four students of MBA Agri-business travelled to Janakpur to conduct a market study as a part of Dhanusasham Elam Project funded by Helvetas and co-funded by Dhansudhadham Municipality and Women Development Advocacy Center (WDAC). The trip was organized in order to understand the skills, capacity, and resources available in the Musahar community at four different wards of Dhanusha namely, Makhanpur, Jungletole, Red Cross Society and Musahari tole. The purpose of this research was to carry out a business potential survey to uplift the marginalized community via livelihood intervention. Furthermore, this research also focused on mapping the upstream supply chain of food products in local eateries and pushcart food vending. It also aimed to identify and profile secondary level students from the Musahar community in order to aid them in their education.
On the first day of the research (February 14), the objective of the team was to conduct research on skills and resources available in the Musahar community. The day began with a visit to the Musahar community for observation which was led by Sushma Mandal, a representative of the Women Development Advocacy Center. There were 285 Musahar households with 38 houses built with aid from the Red Cross organization. The handicraft products were made from natural fibres that were locally available. There was learning about the ongoing tailoring training centre run by Dafne organization in association with SAATH and Women Development Advocacy Center.
After gathering insight into the community, the students went around the area and studied the local eateries and vendors to understand the local food products consumed there and explored the scope of new food products. The pushcart vendors and restaurant owners were interviewed to understand their business model and its influence on their lifestyle followed by their interest in selling new products such as Momo, Chowmein, etc.
By the end of the two-day research, the team was grateful for the opportunity in understanding an avenue of the socio-economic background of Dhanushadham. The research gave a brief overview of the hard lives they have been leading and provided a sense of motivation to help them grow in the best possible ways.