Sharavva, Tangyavva, and Yamanavva are former Devadasis, all hailing from different villages, but a common purpose united them. All three of them wanted to invest in their own microenterprises and gain some measure of financial security. In an effort to do so, they took a Milaap loan around a year ago.
When I finally met with Sharavva and Tangyavva during my field visits, it was good to see the results of their hard work and determination.
Before taking this loan, Sharavva used to sell bananas going from door-to-door. The work took its toll on her health, and even so, her income was meagre. Using the loan amount, she started a small Kirana shop. As I stood talking to her outside her shop, I noticed that the shop was stocked with all the locally sought general items such as pulses, sugar, spices, soap, snacks, etc. She is easily able to make a profit of Rs. 500 on a daily basis.
Tangyavva used her loan amount to start a goat rearing business. She bought 2 goats for Rs. 9000 each, and as the goats, in turn, had kids, she now has 4 goats. She has no urgent requirement in the near future, so she is planning to keep all four of her goats, expand the business, and sell one of them when the time is right. As I engaged in a casual conversation with Tangyavva, the sun started to descend upon us, and I still had around 150 kilometers of journey to look forward to on that day. So I said my goodbyes with a smile on my face, assured that two more women have been able to break free of their exploitative shackles, and they are now well ahead on their way to forging a new life.
Sharavva at her shop