187. (March 27, 2019) :Sheela Devi: Wise investments help her to cross poverty line:

Sheela Devi is a successful member of Parvati SHG under RGMVP in Berara village of Tiloi block in Amethi district. Her SHG is 6 years old. Sheela is an illiterate housewife. There are 8 members in her family comprising of husband, wife, three daughters, a son and daughter in law and a grand son. She has less than two bigha of land.

Prior to coming in to the self-help group she was very poor. There was no source of income except what they produced from the land through sustenance agriculture, which hardly was sufficient for the needs of the family. After joining group she took loans from her SHG for different purposes and her economic status changed: She did some wise small investment decisions and started earning livelihood out of the investments.

  1. She started a family kirana shop initially by availing Rs. 5, 000 from SHG. Once she gained confidence, she took another loan of Rs. 10, 000 and expanded her small business. Having gained further confidence, she took another loan of Rs. 15, 000 for its expansion. This shop is running well and her husband runs it.
  2. She decided to improve agriculture. She took Rs. 5, 000 for the same and seeing the gains of better agricultural practices, took another loan of Rs. 10, 000 for agriculture. The family started getting better yields.
  3. She wanted a viable occupation for her son too. She took Rs 10, 000 from SHG and established a restaurant on the roadside adjacent to her village. This restaurant is also running very well and is being looked after by her son.

From these three income generation activities i.e. kirana shop, restaurant and agriculture, the average daily earning of the family is more than Rs 1,000 and the family is out of poverty. Her SHG is running well and family members are very happy. She learned to put her signature after joining SHG. She improved economic condition helped her to provide education to her children. Sheela has deep faith in her group and gives whole credit for happiness to her SHG.

C S Pandey and P S Mohanan, 27 March 2019