She is Nirmala, a member of Kundababa SHG in Parmeshwarpur village of Sadwa Chandrika block in Pratapgad district, Uttar Pradesh. She belonged to a very poor and landless family of eight members in the village. Her SHG is five years old. After becoming a member of SHG, her life transformed. She has taken following loans from her group:

  1. Rs 10, 000 for purchase of goats for rearing as a livelihood activity
  2. Rs 20, 000 for opening kirana shop as her second livelihood source
  3. Rs 10, 000 for purchase of a second hand motorcycle for her husband to carry kirana goods for the shop

From the two income generation activities, hardship of the family got minimized and family members are now in comfortable position. Now Nirmala wants to purchase a buffalo after full repayment of previous loan, 75 % of which has since been repaid.

Prior to joining group Nirmala, was very hesitant in talking with anybody. Today she is a changed person and an example of what the SHG can do to women like her to break barriers and take charge of life. She can talk frankly and confidently with every one. Nirmala has very high faith in her SHG. SHG has given her hope. She is illiterate. However, that is no more a handicap. She is now learning to write her name. Her status is improved and she is empowered. The motor bike has enhanced the family’s mobility. Most importantly, she is sending her children to school. She wants to provide them good education.

C S Pandey and P S Mohanan, 8th March 2019