Smt Lalmani is a successful member of Vikas SHG in Hasanpur village of Kalakankar block of Pratapgarh district. Her family comprises of 6 members i.e. husband, wife and 4 children. The family has just 10 biswa of (0.3 acre) land. Lalmani was very poor before coming into the group, full of stress, fear, and deprivation. But after joining the SHG, she started gaining courage and confidence. SHG showed her the path to end her stress and hardship. Lalmani is an illiterate woman but after coming into the group she learned to sign instead of putting thump impression.

First, she availed a small loan of Rs. 3000 from the SHG and purchased goats for rearing. This gave her confidence. Next, she took a larger loan of Rs. 20,000 and bought a heifer buffalo. She reared it and now it has delivered and is yielding more than 8 liters of milk. She sells the milk and earns daily income.  Encouraged by the success, she took another loan of Rs. 15,000 from the group and went for another heifer buffalo. There was nothing to stop her now. Since she had negligible land of her own, she took one bhiga land on lease and started cultivating the same.  From goat rearing, the sale of milk and cultivation, the daily income of the family is up to Rs. 400.

Lamani is proud of coming out of poverty through her own effort. Her all 4 children are school going and her SHG is satisfactorily operated, which is running for the last 5 years. Lalmani says that the change in her and improvement in the status of her family could be possible only because of her self-help group.

C S Pandey and P S Mohanan, January 2013