I 212. (May 08, 2019):  Shyamdulari – A big smile upon her face :  

Shyamdulari is a member of Archana SHG in Chari ka Purva of Pahadpur Gram Panchayat in Amava block in Raebareli district. She was in absolute poverty before joining SHG in 2006. Today she is very happy. She beams with a big smile up on her face.

Road to the future was hazy with eight children, i.e. four sons and four daughters. Family had just seven biswa of land and it depended on casual labour as well as agricultural labour during crop seasons for survival. All lived in a mud house. Shyamdulari had never been to school. Neither she could send children to school because of poverty. The family used to borrow from moneylenders.

Access to credit through SHGs gradually changed the condition of the family as well as the status of Shyamdulari. She took loans for different purposes as under:

  1. Availed Rs. 12, 000 from SHG and purchased a cow. She started a dairy and began to earn income from sale of milk.
  2. Again took a loan of Rs. 20, 000 from SHG and invested in buying bullocks for tilling land of others and started earning good returns. Her husband and grown up sons utilized this investment properly.
  3. She took Rs. 50, 000 loan from SHG and took four bhiga of land on lease. They started cultivation and though landless, farming became the main occupation of the family. The family had enough human resources for agriculture. She also used a portion of this loan for construction of two brick walled rooms for stay.

As the interest on the earlier borrowings she had from moneylender was growing, she took another loan of Rs. 20, 000 from SHG and redeemed the debt of moneylender.

She took again a loan of Rs. 15, 000 for buying bullocks. As of date she has four bullocks as assets for tilling her  lease land and lands of others for charge.

Her enhanced status gave her opportunity to provide leadership. She could join the exposure visit organized by RGMVP to Andhra Pradesh during the period when SERP, Andhra used to help RGMVP to build social capital. Shyamdulari organized 12 new SHGs in the Panchayat during this period. No wonder she is happy and has a big smile upon her face.

P S Mohanan, May 08, 2019