KAPILVASTU: A visually-impaired couple has been running three small industries in Kopawa VDC in the district. Ramkisun Chaudhari (30) and his wife, Laxmi, (26) have been a source of inspiration for many.

The entrepreneurs have employed three people in their business of producing and selling incense sticks, candle and an edible mixture called dalmoth.

Ramkisun lost both his eyes during an employment in India nine years ago. Upon returning home, he received a training in 2002 and set up the incense sticks industry soon after. The poor couple started the business after taking a loan from a group of villagers, who had hesitated to provide it.

With an initial investment of Rs 3,000, the couple started producing five kinds of incense sticks, which they sold in nearby markets for Rs 5 to 12. "My hard work has paid. I now have no difficulty in getting a loan," sighed Ramkisun. The training had been beneficial for him in another way as well. He first met his better half, Laxmi, in course of the training.

Laxmi is no less happy. "I'm not totally dependent on my husband, as many ordinary women are. I have an equal contribution as him in the business," she shares. Encouraged by their first venture, the couple expanded their business by starting two other productions two years ago. Theirs is a six-member family. Two children of the family study in a local private school.

"We earn an annual profit of Rs 300,000," a proud Ramkisun shared.