Suneeta is a successful woman of Singhvahini SHG in Pure Sirnet village of Bhetua block in Amethi district. Though she belonged to an upper caste family, Suneeta was very poor before coming into the group. She had only 15 biswa of land and cultivating the same was the only livelihood source for the family of four members (wife, husband and two sons). She was shy, purdah clad and confined to the four walls of the home, ignorant of many aspects of women’s rights, equality, etc.  Things started changing after she joined SHG. The meetings and mixing with others encouraged her to express her views and the empowerment process started. Savings in the group and participating in the internal lending process made her more and more confident and she has started taking financial decisions for the family. After joining the group she took financial assistance to the tune of more than Rs 1.5 lakh out of which some major transactions were as under:

  1. Rs 1500 for cultivation in the land owned by the family
  2. Rs 10, 000 for the purchase of a cow and starting a dairy activity.
  3. Rs 5, 000 for the purchase of goats for goat rearing activity
  4. Rs 50, 000 (on 3 occasions Rs 25,000, Rs 15, 000 and Rs 10, 000 for opening of general store in Bhetua market
  5. Rs 40, 000 (Rs 20, 000 and again Rs 20, 000 on two occasions) for construction of house. She has constructed two rooms in which the family is living.
  6. Rs 10, 000 for the purchase of medicines and Agriculture.

She is also cultivating one bigha of land on batai(lease) and she has taken timely assistance for the purchase of agricultural inputs 3-4 times.

There are four income generation activities with the family at present i.e. goat rearing, the sale of cow milk, cultivation and general store. The family is out of poverty and there is a remarkable change in the family status.

Prior to coming into the group, she was not allowed to go outside home but now she has broken this barrier and can move freely anywhere. Normally Kshatriya caste families do not rear goats but abandoning this tradition, she takes much interest in goat rearing. Now the task ahead of her is to purchase 1.5 bighas of land, which she is cultivating on batai basis. She has become an eye-opener and motivating force for other SHG women in the area. She is educated up to 8th standard and her both sons are school going. She says that happiness in her family is only because of her SHG, which is running very well.

C S Pandey and P S Mohanan, February 2019