After all these months of thinking about how it would actually be like living over here, I was finally in the heart of India: the state of Madhya Pradesh, located in the central region of India. Bhabra was the village where I was supposed to volunteer by teaching the children at one of the rural schools. Besides that, I was here to meet my Milaap borrowers in the district of Alirajpur, which is at an hour’s distance from the picturesque village of Bhabra.
I was in this district to check on the progress of Rajeshani Mahila Samuh, a group being led by Suhanabi Makrani, after they had borrowed a loan from Milaap for expanding their respective micro businesses. But as Suhanabi wasn’t in town that day, I met Rukasar, one of the other group members.
Rukasar, a soft-spoken woman, gladly talked about the loan from Milaap and the impact that it has created in her life. Rukasar is an educated woman who could successfully complete her graduation. I was happy to hear that. However, she told me how it was difficult as women in their community are not allowed to work outside. But, she knew she had the skill in her: the potential to start her own micro business. And that’s when she decided to start her own petty shop, one where she mainly sells snacks.
With her loan from Milaap, Rukasar was able to buy a lot of stock in bulk. Now, she is able to approximately save a sum of Rs. 150 on a daily basis. Her income is sufficient to cover her household expenses. She sincerely expressed her gratitude for the loan that has been provided to her.
Ruksar at her shop