All 30 members of the Ephraim Group live in close proximity to each other and have taken a loan of Rs 20,000 each as an investment for their businesses.
On my last visit to Mizoram, I was not able to meet Lalramthangi, the leader of the Ephraim Group, but got a chance to meet Lalringliani Ralte, one of the members of the group and the owner of a daily needs shop.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Lalringliani at her shop with her son[/caption]
Lalringliani, a divorcee and the mother of a four-year-old, she lives with her sisters and is one of the main contributors to the family income. While her sisters weave “Puans”, the traditional skirt worn by Mizo women, she is busy running the shop. Her petty shop is at the cross roads connecting a housing area and the town's main market. Her small shop is buzzing with activity all day long.
Earlier, she was not able to make enough profits and in turn could not buy consumer goods like milk cartons, snacks and breads etc. The loan from Milaap came as a boon for her. She not only has several varieties of candies and pickles, but has also started keeping daily need goods like milk and bread. During summers, she also sells small packets of homemade frozen lassi (a drink made of whipped yogurt) and ice candies, which are a hit. Though, Lalringliani is not able to keep tab of her profits just as of yet, she says that after repaying the loan and paying for all her expenditures, she is able to save around 3-4 thousand rupees each month.
Kudos to Lalringliani! There are several such women looking for funds. Help us help them!