“If this continued, there would be no home to come back to. Our society would collapse, so I decided to come back for good,” he adds.
Once back, he was faced with a problem: he did not have enough capital to start his own business. What little he earned abroad was spent on taking care of the family, and since he was absent for so long, no one knew and trusted him enough to loan him any money.
He managed to borrow Rs20,000 and invested in a poultry farm. But he did not have any experience, and 40 of the 100 chicks he bought died. “I thought I’d have to go back abroad again,” he recalls.
But he raised the remaining chicken and sold them to hotels and butcher shops in the neighbourhood, bypassing the middlemen. Slowly, he expanded his business and added more chicken.
He started a vegetable farm, and fertilised it with chicken manure. He ferried the vegetables and chicken on a motorcycle over rough roads. He often got stuck in the mud, and needed help to push his bike.
Once, some foreigners who could not find a hotel stayed as guests in his own house, and that is when Tanka and Laxmi got the idea to get into the business.
“If they were willing to stay over at my old house, maybe we could get more people to come here if there was a better place for them to room,” he says.
So, he once again borrowed money and put what little saving he had into opening Ranimahal Fishing Resort. At that time, there were no motorable roads leading to Rani Mahal, and Tanka’s little cottage resort with a man-made fishing pond was in the middle of nowhere.
“It was a gamble. People here said that I was wasting money I had earned abroad and once I’d spent it all, I would go back abroad again,” says Tanka.
Some of his relatives were also not happy with the decision, because as a Brahmin, he was selling meat and alcohol. But with support from Laxmi, Tanka was confident he was on the right track. “I did not care, I knew they would change their mind once I was successful,” says Tanka.
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