Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jamwati from Bundelkhand

Jamwati came to Bundelkhand from Madhya Pradesh after her marriage. One of the only educated women in the village, she gives us a broad smile as she tells us that she is the Deputy President of her SHG.

Using the credit made available to her thrugh the SHG she proudly tells us how she was able to pay off the money lender from whom the family had borrowed money to build the pucca house behind her. “In the last three months I have already repaid half the money to bank” she tells us.
In Bundelkhand as in many areas of rural India one of the biggest challenges that the poor face is the poor knowledge of affordable credit that is available to them. While this credit is available, ignorance and tradition have forced the poor to return time and again to the local moneylenders. The incredibly high rates of interest (that are often five times that charged by the SHG) make it impossible for the poor to repay their debts. Unable to repay their debts the poor loose what little land or other possessions they have, forcing them down the debt spiral even further.
RGMVP works hard to educate the women about the resources that are available and thus helps them escape the vicious debt trap of local money lenders that have been exploiting the poor.
Above: Jamwati at the door of her 'pucca' (पुक्का) house.
Top Right: Jamwati at Swasth Sakhi (community health worker) Training.