I 242. (July 15, 2019): Rita’s Story of Change:

‘I had no identity of my own, I was just a daughter-in-law and a wife. I was called by my husband’s name’, says Rita Vishwakarma, now the treasurer of the Divya Women Self Help Group.  She

Rita is a 35-year woman who lives in village Kaunwar, district Pratpgarh. Like many others, she was doing just the household chores trapped in the four-walled home. She had no say in any family matters or decisions. Her family took loans from the village’s moneylender on interest for most of the things like marriage, hospital expense or house construction which puts the entire family in trouble. Whenever it comes to repay the loan the entire family had to see a difficult phase.

She was passing her days in this discontentment when one of the meetings Sakhi knocked at her door. ‘I remember the day it was 1st March of 2013 ’ recalls Rita. Soon she became familiar with the knowledge of Self Help Groups. She motivated other women to join, showing her leadership qualities and formed her SHG with 13 members. Started with saving of Rs 25 the women were exceptionally happy about accomplishing their family needs. After some time they increased their savings to Rs 100 and then further to Rs 200. Today, her SHG has a corpus fund of Rs 3, 00,000 which is enough to fulfill their needs easily. Now they don’t need to seek help from a moneylender who charges high rates of interest.

Rita has not only helped women but also aided her husband in setting up a shop which is serving as a livelihood resource for her family, improving their conditions. Apart from this Rita has taken the following loan from SHG:

  1. 40,000 for cattle farming
  2. 25,000 for farming

Rita has made her own identity, people know her by her name and her SHG’s name. She is well aware of her rights. With this SHG platform, she has met different ladies, made friends and became empowered enough to help her group members. Today, each one of her group members is doing well with one or more source of income through livelihood opportunities given by SHG. Their children are going to school including her own son. She herself has increased her farming land while her income increased from Rs 4000 to Rs 15, 000 per month. Rita has lived a dream making her own identity and helping her family. She also works with RGMVP as an ISC.