I 253. (August 08, 2019) :  Shiv Kumari Pal – No Boundaries to Empowerment :   

This is an inspiring success story of Smt Shivkumari Pal. Today there are no boundaries for her empowerment and growth. SHG helped her to cross all boundaries. She belongs a marginal farming family. Her land holding size is one bigha. She is from most back word community.  Her family size is big consisting of five daughters, a son, husband and herself. In her house, she was having one buffalo, two bullocks and three goats. Earlier, Agriculture production was not sufficient to make both ends meet. So her husband migrated to Jalandhar in Punjab to work as labourer to supply flour from one place to other. She took a loan of Rs 5,000 @ 60 % interest per annum from local moneylender after mortgaging of her ornaments for purchasing of bullocks. After few months, she repaid it with addition to the interest of Rs 1,000. She again mortgaged her ornament to moneylender for borrowing Rs 15,000 @ 60 % interest for constructing her house. She returned it within four months with addition of interest money of Rs 3,000. She was never part of family decision making. She was not allowed to go outside alone. Even for going to parent’s house, she used to go with some one of family member. She never dared to talk to any outsider. She was worried about the future of her family, education of her children and their marriage etc.

She joined Priya SHG and Ekta Village Organization in Baburi village of Sangrampur block in Amethi district in September 2007. She had passed fifth class and so she was identified as treasurer and Co- Secretary in SHG and VO respectively.  After coming in to SHG, dormant energy in her got activated. She started getting confidence and wisdom to move forward. She started chalking out a plan informally for getting out of poverty. Poverty and empowerment are sister concerns. As soon as empowerment happens, poverty starts going away automatically. She has borrowed multiple loans on different occasion from her SHG:

1- Rs 1, 500 for education of her daughter.

2- Rs 2, 000 for vegetable shop to be run by her husband.

3- Rs 2, 500 for Agriculture inputs, children’s education, treatment.

4- Rs 6, 000 for a computer course for her daughter.

5- Rs 3,000 for buying of buffalo.

6- Rs 20, 000 for Polytechnic diploma to her son.

7- Rs 20, 000 for paramedical course of her daughter.

8- Rs 20, 000 for B Sc (Nursing) for daughter.

Now, she has four buffaloes, one cow and three goats. She worked as a Community resource person in RGMVP in Amaniganj block of Faizabad district. She formed 125 SHGs. She also made about 100 compost piles. Continuous application of compost for last 2-3 years has changed texture and structure of soil, now saline soil has turned to fertile soil. She is producing seed under RGMVP’s seed program for last four years. She has rich knowledge in health. Now family gives a respected space to her in any family event. She takes active part in every decision making process in her family. Her husband has come back from Jalandhar and settled at home. Her son is working as ward boy in Government hospital, getting Rs 22, 000/ month. Her daughter had also got job of a nurse in Delhi. Her salary was also Rs 18, 000. But she resigned and is pursuing BSc (Nursing) for her better future. Shivkumari’s agriculture is producing sufficient quantity of grains for the family.

Last year she initiated a temporary ZBNF business center at her house.

She sold many items produced by her like:

1- 10 liters of Neemastra @ Rs 50/liter.

2- 50 liters Bramastra @ Rs 50, Rs 100/liter.

Some people were given free of cost also.

3- 600 Kg wheat seed @ Rs 30 – Rs 32.

In this way, she has earned about Rs 2, 000 from ZBNF and Rs 6, 000 from seed. This year, she is planning at big deal.

She has broken barriers and there is no ceiling for her hopes and aspirations.

K S Yadav, August 08, 2019