We never know what we might find when it comes to exploring the world around us or meeting new people. And at times, luck smiles upon you and you get to meet a stranger who not only inspires you, but also helps you in seeing the compassion and talent of others. I would describe my meeting with one of the Milaap borrowers, Ilaben to be such. I was in Chandkheda, accompanied by one of my unit branch officers Mr. Jeetendra. I was here to check on the progress of Aarya Mahila Mandal, a group being led by Naynaben, after they were funded with the loan from Milaap. As Naynaben couldn’t take out time because of her hectic schedule, I got the chance to meet Ilaben, one of the other group members.
Ilaben, a petite woman in her thirties, and a mother of two beautiful children, was engrossed in her household chores when we stepped inside her house. After the initial chatter about things in general, she divulged into giving information about her business. Ilaben has been running her business of selling readymade garments along with sewing clothes for quite some time now. Her unabashed zeal to strive hard for success was so apparent in her talk. She gladly talked about how she had successfully completed her courses in tailoring as well as making leather products and had passed the exams in the respective courses with excellent scores. Ilaben’s husband is a carpenter, and he strongly supports his wife.
With the loan of Rs. 15,000 from Milaap, she was not only able to grow this business further, but with the profits, she also opened savings accounts for her children. On an average she is now able to save Rs. 2500-3000 on a monthly basis, six times what she used to save earlier.
“I keep striving hard, and that is not only for my children, but I myself like what I do,” she said.
Women like Ilaben are extremely talented. A little support helps them in exploring their potential. The Milaap community of lenders not only changed her life but also made her more confident and determined. As I was about to leave, Ilaben’s adorable children were more than happy, or I would rather say eagerly waiting, to get photographed. Their smiles and the success story of their mother has left a huge imprint on my mind.
Ilaben along with her beautiful children