The Zaite group was one of the first groups to take loans when Milaap and WSDS started giving out Enterprise loans in Mizoram. Each member took a loan of Rs.20,000 to invest in their businesses. This year in March, the Zaite group repaid the last installment for their loan and successfully completed their loan cycle. Vanzaithangi, the group leader of Zaite group, lives in Luangmual village, an hour’s drive from Aizawl, Mizoram, in north-eastern India. She runs a petty shop, close to the last bus-stop at the top of a hillock, in Luangmual village.
As I reached her shop in the afternoon, Vanzaithangi was busy taking her weekly delivery of ice-creams from the ice-cream truck that came from the city. After a long journey to Luangmual in the hot sun, I got excited seeing so many flavors of ice-cream. So the first thing I did when I entered her shop was to buy two different ice-creams before talking to Vanzaithangi! After arranging her ice-cream stock in the deep freezer Vanzaithangi was taking the stock of Burmese snacks from another dealer who had come to her shop for delivery. It was a busy day for Vanzaithangi.
When she got free she happily told me how she used the entire amount of the loan to buy the deep freezer. It had cost her Rs.35,000 and she paid the remaining Rs.15,000 from her savings. She says that she not only keeps ice-creams but also some frozen food items. Her profits considerably increased because of the sales of the ice-creams. When I ask her that she must be selling them in summers only, she smiles and replies that ice-cream is a perennial item like the pan which is also the most popular item sold in her shop. She is able to earn a profit of around Rs.15,000 to Rs.18,000 per month from her shop. Vanzaithangi is divorced and lives with her sister and her husband, together with all their children. The shop is the main source of income for the family.
Vanzaithangi stands beside her deep freezer