Manjula Vaghela- Ultimate Motivational Story of a Rag picker Who Now Heads a Firm with Rs 1 Cr Turnover


This is the story of Manjula Vaghela who in the year 1981 used to be a rag picker working on the streets for Rs 5 a day. Currently, she heads a cleaner’s cooperative with an annual turnover of Rs 1 crore in 2015 and becomes the literal rags to riches story. There are 400 members in her cleaners cooperative working in domestic cleaning as well as homemaking in most societies and institutes in Gujarat.

The source of her motivation is the fact that she never fails to work hard even though she earned bare minimum. She starts her day early in the morning taking her large sack bag and goes about checking other people’s wastes for recyclable materials. After she collects them she would sell the recyclable materials to the scrap dealer.

Elaben Bhatt who is the founder of self-employed women’s association helped Manjula build her own 40 members Shri Saundarya Safai Utkarsh Mahila Sewa Sahkari Mandali Ltd. It was all a challenge to start up the business and it was even more devastating with the passing away of Manjula’s husband leaving her behind with a son. But Manjula maintained her focus.

She focused on her business goals and soon Saundarya Mandali found its first client, the National Institute of Design. Manjula’s Saundarya Mandali provided services to residents, institutes, and organizations of national as well as international stature.

Saundarya Mandal has come a long way with matters of technology. They use technologies like micro fiber mops, scrubbers, extractors, floor cleaners, high-jet pressure, road cleaners etc. To grow this business is a tough challenge as the large organizations usually issue e-tenders these days. However, they are trying to overcome this hurdle by recruiting people to learn more about that too.

Manjula was brought up in a poverty stricken background and married off early. However, she managed to become the breadwinner even after her husband’s death by starting her own venture and now running a crore-turnover business.

She also made sure her son got the proper education. She earned enough to educate him in a medical school and the college even felicitated both Manjula and her son for their astonishing life story.

(Photo Credit: The better India, Social Umbrella, NDTV)