Her name is Rooprani. She is a member of Jai Ma Durga SHG in Kaboolpur village in Trivediganj block of Barabanki district. She belongs to the social category of SC. She is literate. She joined SHG in June 2016.  She is now 32 years of age. Her transformation in just two years and a half in SHG is incredible.

Before joining SHG, her family had very difficult times. People never respected them as they were from a lower caste.  Not even her husband had an identity and people never used to call him by name. They did not have a proper dwelling place, no proper source for day-to-day food requirements. They did not have any aim in life. During rains, when their dwelling was flooded, they used to sit on the charpai(indigenous cot) and spend time. When they did not have grains for food and pleaded with the Pradhan of Gram Panchayat, he directed them to the Kotedar (ration contractor) who gave them some rice, which was rotten. After removing the worms, they ate it without any vegetables. Rooprani realized that when there was utter poverty at home, it was very hard for outside help and support to come by.

“Once, when I went on a cycle along with my husband to my mother’s place, my brother scolded me and told not to go to our village on cycle because it was against the social custom and it would humiliate them. I felt very bad and returned to crying”.

The Community Volunteer of RGMVP organized our SHG in 2016 and I joined it in consultation with my husband.  I felt very happy when I sat with other members of the group. I started getting information from the group. I also started gaining courage and confidence in myself.

First, she took a loan of Rs. 1,000 from SHGs and started producing grain through agriculture on the two biswa of land given by my mother in law. Next, she took Rs. 5, 000, purchased a cow and started selling milk. Again she took Rs. 5, 000 and repaired the roof of their house. She took Rs. 10, 000 from SHG, arranged some lease land and started cultivating on lease land. She started generating income out of agriculture. She learned to make 18-days compost and started applying the same in her crop, thus reducing the input cost. She also taught some 20 women in her village how to make compost. Next, she mobilized Rs. 10, 000 from SHG and Rs. 30, 000 from BO and purchased an e-rickshaw and started driving it.  She earns about Rs. 1000 per day through this enterprise. Now the monthly income of the family is about Rs. 20, 000.

“My children are studying in good schools. My elder daughter is class 9 and the younger daughter in class 3. My son is in class 1.  Our family is very happy. I go to other blocks also as a resource person for community mobilization. I believe that the way I have fought and succeeded against poverty, other women also would be able to succeed through the SHGs.”

Rampal Meena and P S Mohanan, February 2019