Cotton wick machine: A ray of hope for thousands of Gujarati women living in rural areas
The gap in the demand and supply of the cotton wick was noticed by natives of Gujarat, Dipakbhai and Vijaybhai. The manual production of cotton wicks was the primary cause of the unequal demand-supply ratio. With the support of the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and the number of prototype trials for years, Dipakbhai and Vijaybhai have manufactured 7 to 8 different types of semi-automated to automated round cotton wick making machines. These machines are simple, portable, affordable, and with low maintenance. In addition, they have created 700 different types of wicks with various colours and scents. The characteristics of the technology are such that it can be implemented at home or in a small-scale setup. Development and implementation of round cotton wick-making machines have provided rural women with an opportunity to earn up to Rs. 100-200 per day.
“I’m a housewife. I used to make cotton wick manually. When I got to know about this technology via YouTube, I contacted Dipakbhai and Vijaybhai and purchased a cotton wick-making machine. Now, I earn about Rs. 400-500 per day by making cotton wicks at home using this machine,” said Ms. Urvashi Goel, the beneficiary.
In addition to the manufacturing of these machines, they have trained approximately 6000 women from the surrounding 70 villages on the use and benefits of this machine. Also, they have employed approximately 100-125 women in their company's working unit, which has an annual revenue of approximately 2.5 crores. This technology has also been shared with various Self-Help Groups (SHG), benefiting women of various backgrounds and ages. As a result, contributing toward women's empowerment has improved the livelihood of rural families.
“I’m a 19-year-old, ninth-grade student. My friend informed me about the cotton wick-making carried out at the nearby Self-Help Group (SHG) with the use of technology. I joined this SHG and have been working here for the past 1.5 years. I’m financially supporting my family as well as my studies with the income generated by making cotton wicks,” said Ms. Janvi, a beneficiary.