Achma Gazi is the leader of a group of women residing in Kharkurdha village in rural West Bengal, who have borrowed loans from Milaap to purchase solar lanterns. She is one of Milaap’s more entrepreneurial borrowers; she owns and runs a garment shop just outside her village. Her husband works as a carpenter in his woodshop, which is adjacent to her garment shop. They both have two sons; one of them is a 15-year-old student, while their 21 year old one assists in his father’s woodshop.
A Milaap solar lantern lamp has had a profound impact on Achma’s life and those of her family at night. Not so long ago, the daily electric power cuts that occurred in her shop would put a halt to her garment selling activities. Even her husband was unable to conduct his carpentry work at night for the same reasons.
Six months ago, Achma believed that a solar lantern could solve these problems. She decided at the same time to approach Milaap for a loan, which would enable her to acquire a solar lantern. Ever since the first day of employing her solar lamp, Achma has been able to work at her garment store at night during the power cuts. The bright light from the solar lantern enables her to sell her garments in the power cut-caused darkness. She is now able to sell more garments at night. As of consequence, her average monthly income has increased by Rs.300, from Rs.5 000 to Rs.5 300. Her husband too uses her solar lantern sometimes to maximize his carpentry workload. They have both been so impressed with the solar lantern that she has bought another solar lantern for her husband’s evening carpentry pursuits. Furthermore, their 15-year-old school-attending son is able to study under her solar lantern in their home during the power cuts, which was not previously possible for him.