Jan 26, 2024

Ms. Sunaina Thakur from Dhanusha District started Mithila art as a passion and hobby and later converted it into entrepreneurship after registering a formal enterprise.

Being a female of Madhesi and Terai origin posed a lot of challenges for her to move forward as an entrepreneur. Because of the restrictions for women in her society, it was difficult for her to come out of the house and work freely. There were a lot of people who were always against her. “Come what may, I am not someone who loses hope or gives up that easily. Not even the criticism or negative comments could deter me from pursuing something I am so passionate about,” she informed reminiscing her past.

Simply painting, especially Mithila art was not easy, it took Sunaina time to get established, accepted and recognized in national and international platforms as an art entrepreneur. It was a lot of patience, personality development trainings and public engagement that made her comfortable to travel and promote her work in the international arena.

She shared, “I participated in an art competition in Janakpur which was not specific to Mithila art but a general painting competition for women. I secured first position which, motivated and gave me the confidence continue art as a profession.”

Society and relatives negatively perceived her profession and demotivated her on a regular basis; now seeing her growth they have started appreciating what she does. They even request her to teach their daughters and wives about Mithila painting.

“This makes me proud and I feel I have paved the path for a lot of women in my society. My network has grown by manifold and people recognize me for my paintings. It motivates me to do more in the future,” she states.

Sunaina’s enterprise was assessed using the ENCOMPASS tool and later provided with virtual training sessions to help her strengthen her enterprise based on the assessment findings. WEAN Dhanusha and Ms. Sabina Poudel FWEAN representative supported Sunaina to connect with FWEAN for the trainings. She feels that the sessions turned out to be very informative and fruitful. She learnt about the marketing aspects for her business and the know-how of interacting with the public and customers. It was the first time she came to be aware abut the government and banks schemes available for women entrepreneurs. It also brought about clarity on how to access those loans.

She wishes FWEAN to bring programs like labeling packaging and marketing regarding the products produced by the women entrepreneurs. The woman in her district are unaware about the raw materials, product development and proper marketing. She feels it will help them promote their products in the local as well as in the national market.

She expressed her gratitude towards FWEAN for the initiation of this program. According to her FWEAN is one organization which really helps women entrepreneurs to foster. She ends by saying, “There are a lot of opportunities here with Mithila painting. It is yet to be recognized and I wish FWEAN can support to widely promote the art in national and international platform.”