Mamta Devi is a member of Jai Ma Santhoshi SHG in Pure Asha of Daulatpur Panchayat in Jagatpur block of Raebareli district. She joined SHG in the year 2011.  Her social and economic condition was very poor at the time of joining SHG. She had studied up to class 8. She was married to a mazdoor family. She was under purdha and never allowed to go out of the home. She had a lot of fear and apprehension and lacked confidence. There were problems in the family and she did not have any say even in small matters in the family.  Once she purchased a new shawl spending  Rs. 100 given to her by her husband. This enraged the in-laws and on this small incident, her family was separated from the home and they had to live in a makeshift shelter. They faced problems in having sufficient food. Once she had to borrow Rs. 200 from moneylender even for buying grains. Such was the miserable condition before joining SHG. The organizers of RGMVP and other women in the village convinced her husband and got permission to enrol her as a member of SHG.

Her first loan from SHG was Rs 500 for buying agricultural inputs. Next, she took a loan of Rs. 1500 and purchased a heifer. Then she took Rs. 1500 for buying equipment for her husband who had started going as a mason. It was because of her persuasion that he stopped doing miscellaneous jobs and started acquiring the skills of a mason. She again took Rs. 2000 to help her husband in this. Now he is a skilled mason earning good wages. She then took Rs. 45,000 loan from SHG and purchased three biswa of land and also a buffalo. Her last loan was Rs. 20, 000 for purchasing materials for house construction. She is hopeful of completing the house construction soon. In the meanwhile, she learned better agricultural practices. She made 18 days compost and applied it in garlic cultivation. She has constructed a toilet even though she was staying in a kuchha (mud-walled and thatched) house.

She has three daughters. The first one stopped going to school while the next two are school going. Their education is important to her. She has also got all training in health and she is social capital. Now she does not face any discrimination. She carries a mobile and owns a cycle. Thus, Mamta, who was once not even permitted to step out of the home, is now riding a bicycle and going around volunteering in community mobilization and associating in RGMVP’s health behaviour change program. She is transformed. She is happy.

PS Mohanan, March 2019