Srimati belonged to an extremely poor Scheduled Caste family in Chaturpur village of Chattoh block in Amethi.  Married at an early age, ignorance and social conditions led her to have five children adding severity to the poverty stricken conditions in the family. Social customs did not allow her to get out of the home and it was with lot of family resistance from that she could even join the SHG in her village.  The family was indebted to local moneylender.

Her SHG named ‘Gaurav ” provided a new life to her. SHG made her to understand the importance of providing education to the children. She and her husband had neglected this because of poverty. Having gained confidence, she started to give focus and priority in sending the children to school. All her children are now going to school regularly. The whole family lived in a kuchhahouse and her aspiration was also to have at least two puccarooms.

They had 5 biswaof land, which was pledged to a moneylender. Her first loan from SHG was of Rs. 8000 to get the land free from the pledge. After repaying the same, she took Rs. 10, 000 for the agricultural purpose. Now the family could cultivate their own land and generate grains for their requirement. Next she took Rs. 12,000 for buffalo. She started generating income from sale of milk. In the meanwhile, she started interest in helping others and started discovering her leadership qualities.  The shy woman who was unable to even speak to others started learning as well as helping others to learn. She improved her communication skills. She shed her fear and realized her self-worth. Her confidence increased and she became the president of her Village Organization.  Her leadership qualities helped her to become an internal social capital for health messaging in the community. Her confidence and empowered conditions helped her to achieve her ambition of constructing two puccarooms. Her economic condition has improved and she is very happy.

P S Mohanan, February 2019