Monday, August 29, 2011

Premvati's Story

Premvati, from Jhansi, used to face numerous health problems due to some complications during child birth. She was always sick and suffering from pain, but couldn’t afford medication. She couldn’t work in her farm or send her child to school, as there was nobody else to take care of her.

Self-help group or SHG women in her village heard about Premvati and asked her to join one of the groups. They consoled her and helped her buy her medicines. She soon borrowed Rs. 5000/- from her SHG, which helped her undergo treatment from a good hospital. She then started participating in the SHG events actively and attended meetings in other districts as well.
She borrowed another Rs. 5000/- from her group and invested in farming to generate income. She started earning a good amount and managed to pay back all the borrowed money within a short period of time. Next, she borrowed Rs. 7000/- with which she opened a small shop in her village. Now she looks after the shop while her husband looks after the farm.
  Today, Premvati is healthy, happy, generating good income and taking care of her family. She is educating her two children from a good private school. She has been to Hyderabad twice to be trained as a Community Resource Person and helps mobilise and motivate other women to organize themselves into SHGs, so that no other woman suffers from the difficulties and problems she had to suffer from!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From disability to ability!

Mayawati from Babina District, Jhansi, is handicapped. Though she studied till 12th standard, being physically handicapped, she never got a job. She could not do any physical work. The days were hard. Her husband was single-handedly supporting the family working as a wage labourer in a nearby town. They ate when they could afford to buy food and remained hungry when they couldn’t. Mayawati wasn’t able to contribute anything to her family. She was disheartened and felt helpless due to her inability to do anything.

One day, Mayawati was asked to join a ‘samooh’, or self-help group, by a friend of hers. She reluctantly joined, but soon found herself gaining tremendously from the group activities. The micro finance help that the SHG offered helped Mayawati a lot. She borrowed Rs.2000/- at first and purchased a sewing machine that helped her to generate income, which took care of food and her child’s education. She then borrowed Rs.10000/- and bought a buffalo, which gave her an income of about Rs.3,000-3,500 every month. She saved about Rs.25,000/- with the income generated through the buffalo.

Next, she borrowed another Rs.5,000/- from the SHG and opened a small soft-drinks business in her village. Today, she is well off. Her husband no more works as a wage labourer. He helps her with the soft-drinks business, while her son has enrolled at a good private school.

Mayawati not only benefited financially through her SHG, but also became a leader in true terms. She is the President of her SHG and she handles various other groups and related activities. She solves problems and issues that plague her village by directly visiting the block headquarters and speaking to the respective officers.

Mayawati is now an energetic, bubbly and confident woman, who doesn’t feel inferior because of her disability, but empowered with what she has achieved!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

“I got my children back!”

Mamta, from Babina Block in Jhansi, was born into a family of daily wage labourers. While her father was away for work every day, Mamta used to take the buffalos into the jungle to feed them. She used to see other children studying and always wished she too could go to school! She asked her father, but he could not afford it. When Mamta turned 14, she was married off to a farmer in Badora. She soon had three children and was happy with her life!
Mamta’s husband and in-laws were very superstitious. One day, her husband and her father-in-law went in search of treasure in their farms, as directed by a local priest. In the process, Mamta’s husband fell into a well and died. Mamta’s in-laws blamed Mamta for his death, as their superstitious belief was that he died because Mamta was ‘unlucky’ for him! She was thrown out of the house, her children were kept away from her, and she was not accepted by her own family either! She was left homeless.  She worked as a labourer, stayed hungry for months, fought for her rights, for her children… but all to no avail!

One day, someone told Mamta about Self Help Groups. She decided to give it a try and joined one. Through the awareness programmes conducted by the SHG, Mamta gained the confidence to confess her miseries to her fellow mates and seek their help. The SHG women consoled her and explained to her that she can legally fight for her rights and get her children back. They gave her strength and courage. Mamta called up the DIG and asked him for help. The DIG was so inspired by the way she spoke to him, that he came to her and helped her fight her in-laws. Within a few months, Mamta managed to get her children back and also a share of her husband’s property!
The SHG women also encouraged her to remarry. She’s now married, with her children, and happy again!
Mamta has also opened a small tailoring shop with the money she borrowed from SHG. She is economically well-off and also learning Maths and English from a tuition master in her village!
Mamta’s story tells us how SHGs not only help women to gain economic benefits, but also helps them gain confidence, courage and strength!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

All Smiles!

Our women are happy because they overcome poverty out of their own initiative, their own passion!
We only support them.