She is Mithilesh, a successful woman of Dhanlaxmi SHG in Rakhha village of Baba Bhelkarnath block in Pratapgad district. Prior to joining SHG, she was very poor and landless.  Her family comprises of six members including three daughters and a son. The journey of Mithilesh is a great example of how even landless poor can come out of poverty within short time through proper use of opportunities in a sensitive supporting environment. Economic empowerment of Mithilesh, who went to school just up to 8th class is the result of the right environment creation for her leadership role in the family. This happened because of the SHG and the confidence and financial security it offered her.  After joining the group she took cumulative assistance of Rs 2.20 lakh on four occasions  from her group:

  1. Rs. 20, 000 for the cultivation of four bigha land on batai (lease) basis. She is growing coriander and vegetables.
  2. Rs. 50, 000 for purchase of lighting and decoration items for hire and also for agricultural purpose.
  3. Rs. 50, 000 for purchases of three electricity generators. Out of these three generators, she has given one generator to the bank branch on a monthly rent of Rs 12, 000 and remaining two are being used in light decoration.
  4. Rs 100,000 for purchase of floor DJ.

Gross monthly income of the family comes to Rs 15000/ to Rs 20000. By now she has purchased a plot on the roadside and constructed one room thereupon with a boundary wall. At present she is living in a rented house paying rent of Rs 2000 pm and very soon this family will shift to own house. Family has come out of poverty and all the family members are very happy. She is educated up to 8th standard and her all four children are getting an education in better school. Mithilesh gives whole credit of her present position to her SHG, which is running very well.

C S Pandey and P S Mohanan, February 2019