Seeking financial indepedence in Aanaikalpatti | Milaap

Seeking financial indepedence in Aanaikalpatti

The bike ride to Aanaikalpatti with the Field Officer, and now also my friend, was the most enjoyable journey I've had so far. There were huge banana plantations on either side of the road for a good stretch of at least 2kms. Lush green with raw bananas hanging off each of them, they looked beautiful and absolutely tempting. I resisted such urge to steal some for myself and just enjoyed the good breeze and took in all the greenery. I finally reached Nithya's house, where all the members of her JLG were present to be interviewed by me. 

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From left: Prema, Jenitha, Rohini and Nithya 
It's been two months since they've availed the loan from Milaap, through GMF. It's been less than a year since they've been married and moved to this village. All their husbands work in farms they own and also take up part time job as daily wage labourers. Since they were all at home they decided to get together and start a business of their own so they could add to the family's income. Nithya, Jenitha and Rohini make wire bags of different sizes and colours. Govinthammal and Prema stitch  and do stone-work in sarees and blouses. They told me they manage to put in two to three hours everyday after finishing off their daily household chores, when all the five friends get together and sit down to work. A tiny wire bag sells for close to Rs.25 and they charge Rs.350 for stone-work in sarees. All of them manage to earn close to Rs.100 everyday. Diwali, Pongal and wedding seasons bring them good business. Aadi maasam, which falls in july, is especially good for the sales of wire bags as a lot of people take them to temples to carry lamps, incense sticks, flowers etc. So far their target demand groups have been relatives, friends and acquaintances. They get ideas for patterns and designs from a friend of theirs, who runs a beauty parlor close by. She helps them with creativity and innovation. They seem confident of expanding their business and attaining financial independence.

From left: Prema, Jenitha, Rohini and Nithya