As I, along with my unit staff members from Prayas, Milaap’s partner, advanced towards the house of the next Milaap borrower, there was a change that I witnessed: a change in terms of the ambience. I could see a sea of happy faces flocked together. There was joy in the air of Dhrangadhra. People were dressed up in attractive traditional garb. Upon asking someone, I gathered the information that there was a baby shower, and one could clearly see that it was being celebrated with great pomp and gaiety.
Kantaben Parmar, 40, offered me a chair to sit, which I politely declined and sat next to her on the floor. As the conversation started flowing, her relatives started getting intrigued, and they also joined us. Gradually, the entire room was bursting with people who seemed to be having a great time just listening to what we were conversing about. Kantaben, who has been running the business of sari selling for three years, took a loan of Rs. 17,000 from Milaap six months ago. The loan helped her in growing her business and also with meeting the household expenses. Her family consists of six members. Her husband and her three sons are daily wage laborers while both her daughters are happily married.
Kantaben expressed her gratitude for the loan provided and also shared how it helps her in saving Rs. 2000 on monthly basis. She sells each of her saris for Rs. 250 and gains a profit of Rs. 25 per piece. She also exhibited her desire to rent a space in order to expand the already successfully running sari business and to simultaneously start a new business of artificial jewelry. I was thoroughly inspired by getting to know how hard working this woman is. Kantaben runs this business from her house. But along with that, at times, she also travels to nearby villages in order to sell her saris.
Kantaben is one of those women entrepreneurs in rural Gujarat who started something right from scratch with the loan from Milaap. And it changed her life to a great extent.
Kantaben developed her sari selling business with capital crowdfunded by Milaap lenders