She wanted to realise her own unfulfilled dream of
going to school by sending her children to a good school and see
them as better citizens tomorrow. This determination ignited a
spark in her to increase her family income and see to it that she
gives a better life to her children.
With such intention, she approached the local
moneylender as well as the nearby banks for a small loan to start
her own tea stall, but was bluntly refused due to lack of any
collateral security. With her hopes shattered, she continued with
her normal work when one fine day she heard from one of her friend
about a Micro Finance Institution (MFI) that supports the
entrepreneurial poor people financially. Sensing her long wished
opportunity of entrepreneurship within her reach, she thought,
“This is the best route to get away from this drudgery (given my
present skill-set) and supplement my husband’s income so as to
care for the 3 children as well as the elderly mother-in-law”. She
immediately rushed to the MFI with her proposal which was taken up
with gravity and the process of funding soon started.
What started her off in her tea-stall venture was a
small loan of Rs. 4000/- from the MFI which was to be repaid at
the rate of about Rs. 90/- per week over a period of 50 weeks
which she comfortably started paying off from her daily earnings
of approximately Rs. 200/-.
All this, even though there existed a competing tea
Her dream which had been to work independently came
true (it is incidental that her stall is under the lower portion
of an unpainted Railway Over Bridge – home to various parked
vehicles). Apart from being an earning member, her husband too has
joined this trade and partners her, which has increased her
respectability in addition to halving her workload.
With an enhanced annual family income of Rs.
60,000/- now, Susheelamma saves about Rs, 5,000/- annually after
meeting all the household expenses. She also sends all her
children to a good school nearby. Further, on the economic front
not only have assets been purchased for the home but emergency
needs too are managed after meeting all the family’s needs.
She keeps saying, “so useful has microfinance been
that not only has my lifestyle changed but also enabled me to
think of improving my enterprise”.
There was a sea-change in her lifestyle what with
home improvement, greater attention to education, healthier family
members and a diverse and nutritious food intake as well as a
greater freedom to choose the desired lifestyle. So radical is the
change in her life that regular earnings, high earnings, savings,
school-going children that she now envisages purchasing a
refrigerator and trade aids from out of her enhanced income.
As a group member also, she has gained a place in
society outside the four walls of her home where she is treated
with respect and she is also able to participate in all social
events. She intends to expand her enterprise with more products on
offer by investing on a fixed stall.