186. (March 28, 2019) : Meena Devi’s journey out of poverty: 

Meena Devi was an extremely poor woman in Trilokpur village of Amethi block, Amethi district. Her husband was a casual labourer / helper in a tailoring shop. There are seven members in her family, consisting of herself, her husband, two sons, a daughter, a daughter-in-law and Meena Devi’s mother. The family has less than 10 biswa of land. Economic condition of the family was very poor.

That was her background when she joined Shanti SHG, which was organized by RGMVP in her village. After joining the group, Meena was trained to think about a family development plan, like other women of the SHG. Her husband, through years of work in the tailoring shop, had by that time, acquired the skill of tailoring. So Meena planned to settle him with a tailoring shop of his own.

  1. She took loan of Rs 19,000 from her SHG in four installments for this purpose (Rs. 3,000, Rs. 5,000, Rs. 4,000 and Rs 7,000). They acquired assets comprising of three sewing machines and an interlocking machine and established their own tailoring shop by employing one additional tailor. They are earning Rs 700 to Rs. 800 daily from the shop.
  2. Availed Rs 50, 000 for construction of own shop, in which tailoring business is currently running.
  3. Availed Rs 6, 000 for purchase of cow.
  4. Availed Rs 20, 000 for taking 14 biswa of land on lease for cultivation.
  5. Availed Rs10, 000 for treatment of herself.

Meena said that she had availed financial assistance to the tune of more than Rs. 2.5 lakh from her group so far. At present there are three income generation activities with the family i.e. sale of cow milk, tailoring business and agriculture. From the income generated out of these activities, family has come out of poverty with remarkable change in the family status. Meena was educated only up to 8th standard at the time of joining SHG. After joining the group, she completed high school as a private scholar. She sets apart lot of time for social work and presently she is working as meeting sakhi in Amethi block. All her younger children are school going and entire family is enjoying a happy and transformed life.

C S Pandey and P S Mohanan, 28 March 2019