It was a bright Tuesday morning. I took a bus heading straight to the small town of Surendranagar from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It took me about three hours to reach there. But my actual destination was rural Wadhwan. It took one more hour to be there. The atmosphere, somehow, seemed to be a bit agitated now. The sun, with its relentless heat, was a powerhouse, and there was no escaping it.
I was here to meet the leader of the group Jay Khodiyar Mahila Mandal, Gitaben Sapara. This Joint Liability Group (JLG) had borrowed an enterprise loan of Rs. 86,000 a couple of months back. I was here to check on the progress that they had made and how the loan had impacted their lives.
Gitaben has been involved in assisting her husband and father-in-law in the business of manufacturing bearings for more than 10 years now. With the machine that they have at their home, they produce screws, nuts, and bolts. Along with this, Gitaben also works as a housemaid at two of the houses in the neighborhood. She earns a sum of Rs. 1500 from that on a monthly basis.
Her children, two daughters and a son, are very young. She simultaneously manages a lot of things. The loan from Milaap helped her in buying a lot of raw material that was required in bulk. She has even started repaying the loan. I could clearly see the hard work that she has been putting into this. All this multitasking has made her stronger. She also talked about how their family was involved in the business of agricultural production. At the time of my visit, they had sown the seeds of cotton into their field. After about two months, she would be completely engaged in selling it in the market.
For women like Gitaben, working hard and throughout the day is more of a necessity in order to earn their livelihood. With the support from lenders like you, these women get the much needed help and self-confidence.
Gitaben with her youngest son