Sunday, September 20, 2009

Breaking Free

When Saroj Devi first met an animator from the RGMVP she was in dire straights, her husband was deeply indebted to a money lender, and their income was too low to sustain their family. Often they went hungry! Convinced about benefits of joining SHGs she joined the Jai Maa Durga Swayam Shayta Samooh, and almost immediately her life took a turn for the better. The weekly meetings where members shared their problems and discussed ways and means to improve their lives gave her the opportunity and education she needed.
After being trained in several RGMVP camps, Saroj found a new freedom, and a space outside the four walls of her house. She became the Samooh’s Community Resource Person and helped manage and increase its resources of Community Volunteers.
From the first CCL credit of Rs. 25,000 she borrowed Rs. 10,000 and paid of the moneylender’s debt, and freed her husband from his clutches. She now saves regularly with the bank, and enjoys a credit that it extends to her. With the new resources available to her she has been able to set up a detergent manufacturing unit.
Over time, Saroj has come to be the proud owner of a house, a small piece of cultivable land, and a burgeoning manufacturing unit. She has also managed to have her children enrolled in school, which they had dropped out of because the family’s financial condition. She too has started to sign, and is educating herself.
Today she extends her help to those around her, through the Samooh, and has helped over 45 families escape the clutches of moneylenders.
Even in this day and age where the government has innumerable schemes to help the rural population get the much-needed financial help, ignorance of these facilities force many into the vicious net of the money lender. RGMVP consistently educates and facilitates families to avail these life saving opportunities to help them improve their lives and the future of their children.