Meet the Mason of Manpur who leads a debt-free life now

29 April 2021

Debendra Sahoo, a 25-year-old skilled mason from Manpur, Odisha, leads an affordable livelihood today. With practical knowledge and experience in construction work, Sahoo is a well-known mason in his village and nearby area. But things were different a few years ago.

Some eight years ago, Sahoo could barely manage the day-to-day needs of his family. Survived by his wife and two children, Sahoo, a ninth pass individual was forced to work as a labour under a master mason. He would barely earn Rs. 100/- a day. He lived on breadline due to such low income. Struck with poverty, he was forced to take a loan of Rs. 30,000/- from a finance company for the treatment of his wife. The amount was huge for him to repay, besides managing his family's daily needs.


He worked day and night to meet his family's necessities, sometimes even stayed half fed. His dedication towards work helped him to learn the techniques of mason work while working with other masons and contractors. But merely working was not sufficient to lead a stable life, especially when he was carrying the loan of such a huge amount. Meanwhile, he came to know about the livelihood restoration program supported by GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF). This is a special program for those who had contributed their lands to GMR Kamalanga Energy Ltd. (GKEL) in Odisha.

Sahoo attended the community meeting organized by GMRVF where he came to know that he could set up a variety of businesses and expand it with an initial grant provided by the Foundation. During counselling, Sahoo requested to show him the way by which he could enhance his family income. As he has was also amongst many land contributors, based on his skillset, GMRVF provided him mason tools worth Rs.30, 000/-. To his relief, this support helped him to begin with mason works independently.

Gradually, he became proficient in doing various mason related works and his income improved with more number of orders he was receiving. Today, he gets offers for several constructions works in his village and nearby near to GKEL, Tata BSL and BRG. His monthly income has increased substantially and has been able to repay all loans gradually.

"I have got more than I had expected. I suggest to all unemployed youth of my village to try to learn technical know-how and explore the opportunity to find your destiny," said a confidant Debendra Sahoo.