A group of village women in rural West Bengal have collectively borrowed loans from Milaap for solar lanterns. They look up to their group leader, Anema Molla. By profession, Anema has been for the past 15 years embroidering saris as a jodi (zari embroidery) worker. She has 4 children- 2 sons and 2 daughters. Her eldest son is a cook while her younger son works at a printing house. Both of her young daughters are teenagers who study at school. She and her sons are the family breadwinners, as her husband is an unemployed gentleman.
Although it is of no use for Anema’s husband and sons, her solar lantern has been particularly beneficial for her and her daughters. In her village, power cuts occur every night, lasting for hours on end. When these occur, she is unable to pursue her jodi work at night in her home, where she works. Previously, she used to light up her home with a kerosene lamp, while embroidering her saris. But she stopped using the kerosene lamp when its flames started to burn her saris. This curtailed her production of saris at night as she stopped using the kerosene lamp. In the process, she would lose out on Rs. 500 worth of sari sales. The kerosene lamp was also by Anema’s eldest daughter for her night studies. Yet even she stopped using it because of the difficulties arising from reading under its dim lighting.
However, their lighting fortunes have changed everything since Anema borrowed a Milaap loan to acquire a solar lantern. Working under the flame-free, bright light from new solar lantern, Anema is able to embroider her saris at night, even during power cuts. She is so happy that she no longer faces the risks of her saris getting burnt. Resultantly, her income has increased by Rs.500 a month, from Rs.3000 to Rs.3500 per month. At the same time, her daughters’ school studies have improved. The bright light of their mother’s solar lantern allows them to study for school properly at night, without being interrupted by the power cuts.
"I'm very pleased with your help and interest in my life. Thank you Milaap"- Anema