While people retire at the age of 60, ever heard about a person of same age who changed her fortune and became a billionaire? As surprising as it sounds, this is the true story of Manjula Vaghela of Gujarat who was picking rags from the streets of Ahmadabad till the age of 45. Back then she used to earn 5 Rs per day by rag picking. However after 15 years she is the owner of the company which has a turnover of Rs. 1 crore

Manjula Vaghela started Shri Saundarya Safai Utkarsh Mahila Sewa Sahkari Mandali Ltd with the assistance of Elaben Bhatt-founded, Self-Employed Women’s Association (Sewa). Initially she had 40 other ladies and provided cleaning and housekeeping services to the institutions and corporate houses. There was no looking back once she got her cooperative registered and picked National Institute of Design as her first client.

Setting the example

Setting the example


Soon their work increased  and now the team Manjula leads is 400 people strong, most of them being former rag pickers. Many of the ladies working under Manjula are very happy to get a permanent salary.

Today Shri Saundarya Safai Utkarsh Mahila Sewa Sahkari Mandali Ltd has  an association with 45 institutions and societies of Ahmadabad and it is providing services to them. Not only this, it has also replaced the old tools with modern sophisticated machines and instruments such as vaccum cleaners, carpet shampooing machines etc. The cooperative have also provided their services during the Vibrant Gujarat summits.

Manjula’s is the true story of  rising from the ashes. She has proved that anything is possible if one works with a vision along with utmost dedication, honesty and sincerity. We salute the lady and hope she remains the beacon of hope and inspiration to many.


Author: Anusheel

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