Voices of Our Ladies 2014
Prema Asaithambi (purchased a mobile cart and weighing apparatus). My parents made me marry 37 year old Asaithambi when I was 16. He was an auto driver addicted to alcohol who made trouble for me and gave me nothing to live on. My family and neighbors rejected me, making me very sad. When I was able to join SRIA’s SHG, I used my loan to purchase a mobile cart, wholesale fruits and a weighing machine. Daily, I sell fruits in front of a private hospital from 8AM to 9PM. With confidence and happiness, I send my daughter to school.
Revathimani (purchased an electric and a treadle sewing machines). My parents were poor, and I dropped my studies when my father became ill. To pay expenses, I completed a 3- month tailoring training; then moved to Karur, a garment and ready-made clothes center, where I learned techniques for making garment pieces and ready-made dress sales. With my loan I now have two sewing machines and began making 360 pieces a day at Rp. 1 each. I also have started my own ready-made garment center and will expand to employ three other tailors.
Muthukili Samuvel (purchased telephone, refrigerator and set up grocery shop). My husband’s daily construction wages were not enough to provide for my children. With my first three loans, I raised milch cows, selling milk, butter milk, ghee and cow dung for fuel. With the forth loan I put up a grocery shop in front of my house with a one rupee coin telephone box and a refrigerator to stock milk packets and soft drinks. I can now educate my children. I obtained electricity and dug a bore well and plan to construct a toilet at our house.
Muthulakshmi (purchased utensils and vessels). At a young age I was given in marriage to a much older man. He is an unskilled tailor and has had to take loans from money lenders for our two daughters’ education. I felt I was sinking when my neighbor helped me join SHWET Self-Help Group. With my loan I was able to prepare idly in the morning and take it to three villages where brick chulas (furnaces) are found. Now I have also started selling tamarind, lemon curd and rice, and my income becomes doubled. I hope to expand my business into a tiffin center.
Mariyammal Thiruvenkadam (purchased a pottery machine and mud). The product I make is cooking vessels, oil lamps, flower pots. I do this from my home. In a year I fire up my chula six times and sell each lot for an average of Rs 5000. Rs. 3000 is my cost. During festival seasons my profit goes up. I am doing a sustainable business.
Vijaya Siva (purchased candle wax and molds). I am fully involved in candle making. I find myself involved in the market too, so I employed one more person to share the load. Now I am supplying candles to 10 shops in the town. The man is regularly going and delivering candles and both of us are involved in production.
Priya Jeyagopal (purchased jewels and cosmetics). I became a widow and went for a loan to purchase ornamental beauty jewelry and cosmetics for sale and on loan. While I study a beautician course, I am promoting this fancy store. I also do makeup to brides and children during marriage ceremonies and celebrations. I make Rs. 700 ($1=Rs. 62). a day. Now, I often employ another person. I want to establish a beauty parlor soon.