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Centre Name : Don Bosco Tech - Rangajan
Domain : Mushroom Grower
Employer : Own business
Designation : Mushroom grower

Prajalita Horo Topno hails from Borbali, under Tengrajan Gram Panchayat and Sarupathar Sub-Division of Golaghat district, Assam. Prajalita’s husband, Mr. Lazarus Topno, is a private school teacher. They have small landholdings and manage to support their livelihood. Besides farming, she used to keep some livestock like goats and chickens. They have two children; her elder son, Pranjit Topno, works in a grocery shop, and her younger son, Abhijit Topno, is a second-semester Bachelor of Technology student, at Barak Valley Engineering College.

Cultivation and livestock are their sources of income, but the income from agriculture and daily wages is not sufficient. Her husband’s salary alone is too little to support her son’s education and to meet the household expenses, so Mrs. Horo occasionally had to go for daily wages to support the family.

Don Bosco Tech was a great opportunity for Mrs. Prajalita Horo Topno as she was looking to expand her skill set to support her family financially. There were many options available to her, depending on her interests and abilities, and she chose the mushroom training program offered by Don Bosco Tech, Rangajan. She contacted the trainers, enquired about it, and joined the one-month mushroom grower training program. During the training, she was punctual, studied with keen interest, and she never missed her classes. Mrs. Horo kept noting down all the knowledge imparted by the trainers in practical, theoretical, and other soft-skill training sessions. Every day, when she got back home, she would teach her husband and children all that she has learned during the training. And that is how it kept her, and her family involved in the learning process.

After completing the training, she discussed it with her husband and showed eagerness to cultivate mushrooms in their vacant room. She was all the more interested, as mushroom cultivation needs less investment, and resources like straw, are locally available in her field. Her husband agreed and supported her. Initially, she bought 2 kg of mushroom spawn as a trial and started her farm with the support of her family. She prepared the spawn and cylinders and nurtured them for 25 days. She was excited and could not wait to see her mushrooms sprouting gradually inside the cylinder bags. After 25 days, she could see the full flowering, ready to harvest. Her whole family was overjoyed with the harvest. From 2 kg of spawn, she was able to get 10 kg of mushrooms, which she sold for Rupees 120 per kg from her home. Her husband encouraged her by providing some money to expand her production. With the money she got from her husband, she bought 20kg of mushroom spawn and other required materials, costing her Rs 3500. The cultivation provided her with 250 kg of produce, of which she sold 210 kg wholesale, at Rupees 100, and 40 kg retail at Rupees 120 from her home. The second batch of cultivation fetched her Rupee 25800, and she made a profit of Rupees 22300. She got inspired by her earnings and continued her cultivation. At present, she earns a profit of Rupees 22,000–25,000 in a season.

“The skill training motivated me in every aspect of life, which is commendable. I am happy with cultivating mushrooms, and I hope to carry it forward. Thanks to Don Bosco Tech Rangajan, for providing me with such impactful training” said Prajalita Horo. Mrs. Prajalita Horo Topno is one of the living examples of how skill training created a positive impact on an individual’s life and elevated the financial stability of her family.

With the support of her husband, she was able to start a successful mushroom cultivation business, which provided her with a substantial income. Not only did she learn a new skill, but she was also able to inspire other women in her community to follow in her footsteps. Now, she supports her husband in running the family and her children in pursuing higher education without any barriers.