Sangeeta is a member of Kaliji SHG in Gajanpur village of Muzafirkhana bock in Amethi district. She joined SHG in the year 2014. She was from a very poor family. Her husband did not go for any work. It was generally considered by everybody that he was not capable of doing any work. Their only source of livelihood was agriculture, managed by the in-laws. Though she had studied up to inter, after marriage, she was confined to the four walls of the house. She had to wear purdah throughout. She did not have any part in family decisions, as it was the accepted norm not to involve the daughter in laws in family matters. However, when the family needed some money at the time of construction of the house, Sangeetha took Rs 15,000 from SHG and gave it to the in-laws to meet the shortage. This act of hers increased her value at home. Earlier, she was not permitted to go to her mother’s place and now she started getting relaxations in this regard. Gradually, Sangeetha started getting the necessary freedom as a woman. Her major focus after joining SHG was to educate her children and to find resources for the same.

Her husband was not showing many capabilities in doing anything for a living. So she started thinking about how to keep her husband in some productive occupation that was suitable to his capability. She took Rs. 2,000 from SHG and helped him to have a small business of retailing diesel for tractors in the village. They would buy barrel full diesel and retail it out in the village. The result was encouraging. She found out that her husband was capable of doing this simple business. She took an additional loan of Rs. 6,000 from SHG and expanded this business. Husband liked it and this has become a source of income for her family.

She took Rs. 2,000 from SHG and bought a sewing machine. She too started earning by stitching clothes.

She also took another loan of Rs 6,000 from SHG and completed a beautician course.

Again she took Rs. 10,000 as working capital for expanding the volume of the diesel business.

In the meantime, she had developed leadership skills and has become an Internal Social Capital to volunteer in a health program in RGMVP. She is the secretary of her Village Organization. She had also volunteered as a program in-change for training in blocks in RGMVP. She had associated in forming about 100 SHGs. Agriculture activities improved and the family started getting surplus grains and income increased. She also learned about 18 days compost and started making and using it in their field. Currently, she is engaged as a master trainer in health in RGMVP.

During the period, she had focused on providing good education to her children, especially her three daughters. Her first daughter is BA and she is since happily married. Her second daughter also is BA and the third daughter and her son are studying for inter. She is empowered and happy. She is out of poverty too. She is a Social Capital who can support in sustaining “self-help” in women empowerment.

PS Mohanan, March 2019