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Smt Usha of Hathnasa village in Sareni block in Raebareli district joined her SHG in December 2016. She belonged to a poor family. The family owned three bigha of land, which was not cultivated, properly due to lack of resources. She was always confined to home, shy and always under purdha. She was too shy to communicate with others. She also lacked courage.

All these changed after she joined her Bhole Baba SHG. There were ten members in the group and sitting with them and talking with them gave her courage and comfort. She availed Rs. 10, 000 from the group and improved agriculture. She also took Rs.20, 000 for purchase of a buffalo. Her focus now is to educate her daughter and she has availed Rs. 15, 000 once and again Rs. 10, 000 towards educational expenses of her daughter. her children. For Usha, the biggest change is her empowerment to do things by herself. Earlier, she could never think of going to hospital or school or bank alone. Now she can do it all by herself. She has also become courageous and capable of communicating with others. It is her decision to educate her daughter and she is finding resources for the same. She is also conscious of her rights and entitlements. She now has assets like cow and buffalo. She said that all members of her group had borrowed for some purpose or the other from the group.

She is very happy after joining the SHG. She has shed her shyness and built tremendous confidence. She has learned to save and also borrow for her requirements and repay it timely. Earlier, she did not know where to go for help in case of financial need. She feels quite empowered as a woman.

Dhirendra and P S Mohanan, February 2019