Savitri comes from a family of landless labor. Belonging to the category of OBC she was majorly looked down upon, She used to live in a Kuchha house, what added to her misery was that Savitri was not educated, she only studied till class 5th.
“I did not have enough money to send my children to school. I had no knowledge of health or any issues. It is only after joining the self-help group that I became aware.”
Savitri is now a member of Shankar self-help group in Naya Purwa Village, of Lalganj Block in the District of Raebareli. She joined her SHG in 2010 and is the president of her self help group and vice president of her Village Organisation.
After joining the SHG, Savitri started to save and take money out of her group. She borrowed money on various occasions –
1. Rs 5000 for enrolling her children to school.
2. Rs 3000 for purchasing a cycle.
3. Rs 5000 for agricultural activities.
4. Rs 6000 for purchasing a buffalo.
5. Rs 30,000 for purchasing a tractor
6. Rs 30,000 for buying a cultivator machine.
The first thing that Savitri did was to send her children to school. “I did not want my children to suffer as I did because of my education, hence I enrolled them to a nearby school. Education is very important. You can lose anything in the world, but only your knowledge stays with you like a true companion.”
“More than anything my Self-help group has given me respect and confidence.
Today I have become a person who doesn’t shy away from asking for her rights, I am not bounded to the four walls of my house, I have my own cycle, I ride it and go for meetings. I have gained knowledge of health, nutrition, agriculture etc. I have more than 1 source of livelihood, my children go to school, my family, relatives respect me. All this has only been possible because of my SHG. Had I not joined it without telling my family, I wouldn’t have been where I am today. I am so happy that I showed some courage and changed the situation of me and my entire family.”
Dhirendra and Sara