Help A Family Of 4 That's Battling For Sustenance

We know of one young lady, a mother to a 3.5 yr and 15 yr old sons whose existence is endangered because of lack of requisite funds to run her house-hold of 4 people, which also includes are husband - a simple-minded man who is unable to provide adequate financial support to the family. We met this lovely family in 2016 when we'd recently moved to Kolkata and were staying in an apartment from across the road, which is where they stayed. Their littlest one was all of 2 and a quarter and adorable. By default, we fell in love with him and gradually we got attached to the rest of this small family as well. We started learning small details about them.

Since the last 10 years, and since the age of 24, Anamika has been working in a leather factory at a below average salary package and trying to run a tiny grocery store, and bringing up her 2 sons and keeping the family fed and healthy, almost single-handedly.

But now, it seems as if what she is doing is not enough. The money she is earning is not enough, the salary is stagnant but prices are not and neither are her expenses. Boys are growing, they have needs, husband is growing older and even slower and more puzzled than ever - though he does help out in tending to the kids and home while the wife is away but that's not enough either! - and she seems to be constantly running against time and needs. She's always that 2 steps behind.

Let me explain where we come into the picture. A bunch of us who are like-minded, passionate about helping those who need help, irrespective of anything but the need and the emergency, had the good fortune to meet and interact and live across the road from this lovely family who are otherwise very warm and loving and ever-smiling even when in despair. This bunch of us support a few causes that we are passionate about - right education and mentoring, hygeine and sanitation, helping those in distress and yes, damage control & disaster management.

We often experience that most of us are ready to dole out charity to beggars and those that do not have a roof. Yes, even we help out such people; but we see that day by day, what with the astronomical increase in prices, there is that lower-middle class segment who may have a roof on their head but that is all they have! Apart from that roof, nothing is close to enough - be it clothes, food, amenities - there is a lack in each of these areas - but then nobody wants to help because they are not homeless.
Our appeal is from that premise - yes Anamika does have a tiny flat which is inherited from her husband's family - but let's not make her homeless because surely it'll come to that  if she's left to battle on her own.

This family seems to have very little support - they are in an extremely prosperous  neighborhood where they are possibly the only poor family! They are marginalized, we feel, because of the sheer poverty. In fact, our reasons for seeking Rs. 50,000 is the following: 1. Get a partition deed executed for the flat and register the flat jointly in the husband's name and Anamika's name  (else they will surely lose it as there are vultures all around who are eyeing the same and are forever trying to influence then to sell it off, get out of the financial misery, move to a village ..!). We think that attitude is appalling - it's like "what's this poor family doing amidst us ...such an eyesore, let's get them out of here for good!" So the process of getting the partition deed done, registration bit, along with legal fees will amount to Rs. 37500-Rs. 40,000.

The rest of the money is to support her older son Kaushik's education. Kaushik is so enterprising ... he does not even have a feature phone to his name ... yet he knows so much about technology. He is part of a band on youtube ( he is lyricist-singer), he's picked up the skill of editing videos, music ... he is hungry for all things technology. he's not very excited about his Mathematics or Science - I cannot claim that doing brilliantly academically is his claim to fame - but he's a promising young lad who'll go places if given the right support and platform. Kaustav (the apple of our eyes, God bless him) is small and oblivious to trouble around him and because of his charming self (as you see in the snap) is popular with one and all. Plus he is small so his educational needs are proportionately way lesser compared to Kaushik's.

Well, that's the gist of our story and the family we desire to rehabiliate. They are good people, decent people and also very loyal and don't forget a good deed. Their value system is commendable and they are the ones who will help out 10 others, in need, once they bounce back on their feet. Please help us revive the family, join our cause to help Anamika regain the battle in her and the will to fight adversities and win against it. Please allow us to help her live so that she can sustain a healthy family as well.


Ask for an update
14th June 2018
Hello everybody!

The last week or so has been hectic for us. We've been busy negotiating with the 5 different sets of people - 2 professional loan sharks, 3 neighbors; understand and strategise how to handle Bandhan bank and SKS loans - we understand that there's no "handling" the 2 financial institutes. If we do so - meaning should we write to them and get her loan waived off - Anamika's CIBIL will suffer and for years she won't be eligible for any loans from Legal financial bodies.

While Anamika does not understand CIBIL and such - we do and we feel it is not right on our part to tarnish CIBIL, which will affect her loan-taking prospects severely for the near and distant future.

Let's face it - we can't support Anamika endlessly. We have a time-frame of June 2018 to March 2019, in mind. This period is lengthy enough and we need to raise a lac and ten more. But we need to do this to help her settle once and for all.

At a recent settlement discussion (as recent as Tuesday evening), one of her lenders - a middle-aged woman who has taken a loan from Bandhan and has lent the money to Anamika at 12.5% interest a month (!!) yelled blue murder when we propose that the amount Anamika has already paid as pure interest be treated as Principal +Interest (so 2% interest in place of 12.5%). There were foul words exchanged, threats and curses spit out and amidst all that, our little Ganesha (Kaustav) sat, trembling a little, in fear. Anamika was also yelling at the top of her lungs and crying at the same time, white-lipped. The simpleton husband, God bless him, was blissfully absent. And the 15-year old Kaushik who's supposed to write his Board exams February 2019 was supposedly studying in the next room while all this ruckus was taking place.

We don't want to sound dramatic nor rouse sentiments. But this family sure does need some more help until Anamika stabelizes, finds a better job (we will help her with that), reduces the loans to an amount she can handle, and also get the property-related tangle resolved.

I wish some of our benefactors would also write and advise us/talk to us. We are open to suggestions - but please do not ask us to stop and not help. Please do not counsel us not to support them financially for the next 9 months. I know its a drag, its a lot of hard-earned money involved...

So this is what I told the lady who was spitting venom at Anamika. She said, "when I was 22 and my husband had stroke, his salary and the loan we took from his PF was not enough to save him. I worked as a maid and an ayah in households because I was uneducated. Nobody forgave any of the loans I had to take. Why should I give Anamika a waiver?"

I took her hands in mine and said, " Didi exactly for that reason - what nobody ever did for you, please do it for this hapless woman". I don't know if she'll eventually agree to our terms but I felt something move in her. Perhaps that is progress.

Thank you,
Saumi
1st June 2018
Dear All,
Thanks to all of you and your generous contributions, we've been able to accumulate the requisite cash to get Anamika out of the immediate crisis and that too in 11 days. All of you donors and Milaap are responsible for this phenomenal success.

We took 48 hours to take stock of things and decide our next course of action. While the larger chunk of this money will go towards getting the "house papers" in order, about Rs. 24,000 is being spent towards meeting the large holes in the family's financials, naming providing the basics, paying backlog interests accumulated with loan sharks. We've also had many discussions with each of the moneylenders and have drawn up a return of their money (with reduced interest rate) by the end of the financial year of 2018. We're also setting here up with some basic instruments and material to start her home-based wallet/bag production unit.

We realized, even before we started this campaign, that just paying of interests will kill the family because the outstanding principal amount will always remain unpaid. Hence this is what we've decided as the next course of action:
1. Anamika's salary and her husband's income from the puja's he does (total of Rs. 8200) will be spent towards paying their SKS E.M.I (Rs. 955 every thursday and gets over by Oct 2018), Bandhan E.M.I (Rs. 925 gets over in Feb 2019). They will be left with a balance of Rs. 500 from their earnings.
2. They will need at least another Rs. 1,00,000 between now and March 2019 to support their basic needs of food, travel, education of the 2 children, electricity & gas bills, etc.
3. We propose to start another campaign where we will raise this money - it could be in staggers  or could be 1 time, which we will then put in a savings account for them from where an ECS arrangement may be done so that Anamika gets the requisite funds, beginning every month, till March/April 2019.
4. We are also counselling Anamika to leave this current job and get into another job, where with her skills-sets, efficiency, communication skills - she will get paid at least 2-3 thousand more every month. This could happen anytime between August - Dec, 2018 - encouraging somebody to leave a job that they've been into for 11 years (however meagre the pay) is risky; also its a tough decision to take for the decision-maker (Anamika). At no point to we intend to make her feel that she's losing control on her life and others are making decisions for her!

By 2019 April, the following will have been achieved:
1. With 2 loans over by Oct 2018 (Rs. 40,000 from SKS) and Feb 2019 (Rs. 80,000 from Bandhan), Anamika can settle for 1 loan (Rs. 80,000) with which she can clear of 3 loans, which will still be pending after all our efforts. For now, we don't want to contemplate raising that Rs. 80,000 for her. 
2. We want to focus on making the registered house work for her - maybe put the house on mortgage, take another home loan and buy a small flat which will immediately fetch rental income - that income will pay the small E.M.I. of the home loan and also supplement her income. But this plan won't materialize before 2019, 2nd financial quarter because Anamika does not have A. Salary slips; B. IT returns - we'll have to get at least 3 IT returns in place before we embark this plan.
3. So for Anamika to be settled and be prosperous, it'll take at least 3 years - but we're confident that with the right plan, right action, and all of you well-wishers and your circle of influence, we will make it happen.

Thanks!
Saumi & friends
29th May 2018
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your love and support.

I've taken a while to write this update as I've been busy pouring over accounts and trying to see how we can make every penny stretch for
Anamika.

So far, we've withdrawn Rs. 13,500 and I cannot begin to tell you what a great relief it has been for Anamika. She has those 2 emi's to pay, every week, at the SHG's of which she is a part and its Rs. 1925 every week.

Then there's the money lender and if the domestic gas cylinder is procured, then its the electricity bill that's pending. No sooner is that cleared, the grocery bill unfolds itself. Its a challenge that she's been facing every month for the last 10 years.

But thanks to Milaap and all you kind-hearted folks, we've taken some burden off her shoulders.

She knows she's not the only one who's thinking and worrying about her and her lot. And for me and my friends who are in this together - trying to make Anamika's life a little less stressful, I can only say that we are truly humbled to see so much goodness all around.

Its not over yet - While we've managed to secure 70% of the registration amount required to settle matters of the property, I see that we'll need to support Anamika until April 2018 to ensure she is out of this mess, once and for all.

I'll keep you all posted on our next course of action for Anamika and her family.

Warmest,
Saumi & friends

Content Disclaimer: The facts and opinions, expressed in this fundraiser page are those of the campaign organiser or users, and not Milaap.
Rs.55,203
raised of Rs.165,000 goal

31 Supporters

Beneficiary: Anamika Chakrab... info_outline

Supporters (31)

MI
Milaap Impact Partner donated Rs.3,000
about 2 months ago

Matching payment towards Anonymous’ contribution

A
Anonymous donated Rs.15,000
about 2 months ago
MI
Milaap Impact Partner donated Rs.220
about 2 months ago

Matching payment towards Anonymous’ contribution

PV
Pranav donated Rs.1,100
about 2 months ago
MI
Milaap Impact Partner donated Rs.126
about 2 months ago

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HW
Haleh donated US $10
about 2 months ago