I was unable to meet Chawngthanpuii, the group leader of Biakthansangi group but met another group member, H. Biakthansangi instead. Biakthansangi runs a small petty shop outside her house on the main road. Her shop is the main source of income for her family of four.
Biakthansangi took a Milaap loan of Rs.20,000 in July last year to buy more items for her petty shop. Soon after taking the loan, her husband fell ill and was diagnosed with cancer. She kept around Rs.3000 as savings, to make repayments for the loan, and used the rest of the money for the treatment of her husband’s cancer. The healthcare scheme and the money received as condolences from friends and family also helped her during this time of crisis, but the loan was a big support. Unfortunately, her husband passed away in November last year.
After that Biakthansangi invested all her time and efforts in the petty shop because that was the only source of income for the family. She has two sons who are fifteen and sixteen years old and a father-in-law who is around seventy years old. She says that her income is just enough to support the family. She has also rented out a floor in her house which gives them additional support.
Biakthansangi recalls how her husband took care of the shop and worked as a supplier of goods. Life may have been comfortable then, but now Biakthansangi is determined to earn for her family. She is looking forward to complete this loan cycle and applying for a second loan to buy a coffee vending machine in her shop. Biakthansangi says that she is still adjusting to this new way of life, without her husband.
Biakthansangi smiles while working in her petty shop