Rajpati gets inspiration from her colleagues.
Story of Rajpati of Kapurpur village in Chattoh block in Amethi district is an example of the peer support and motivation that a member of self-help group derives by seeing what others members of the group are doing. She was a shy Scheduled Caste woman in the village who faced all sort of difficulties and deprivation. Her joining the Suarj SHG, sitting in group meetings listening to what others are talking and seeing what they are doing made her a changed woman. She also started talking and gaining the courage to take initiatives and play an active role in family development. Her first loan from SHG was just Rs. 500 for buying some fertilizer for cultivation the one bigha land (0.66 acres) the family had. After repaying, she took Rs. 1000 in the next agricultural season. She also availed Rs. 5000 from the group for meeting medical expenses in the family. Prior to SHGs, the family’s only recourse was money-lenders. She had four girls and two boys. SHG level and village organization level conversations helped her to make her own resolution to educate her children. All her children are going to school. She got courage and confidence by seeing what her SHG colleagues like Shivpati and Phoolkali were capable of. Recently, she took Rs. 12,000 from the group and purchased a plot of one biswa land in her name for construction of a brick house. She got inspiration from Phoolkali who did the same earlier. Now her wish is to some settle her husband who migrates to Ludhiana for work for almost nine months in a year.
P S Mohanan December 2018