I had been waiting since long to visit rural Wadhwan, a small town located in the district of Surendranagar in Gujarat. The scorching heat was making things a bit difficult that Tuesday. But somehow, the bus journey had been pretty interesting. After travelling for about four hours, here I was in this town. I was accompanied by two of the Prayas staff members. All along the way, they had shared with me stories of brave women here who had started their businesses right from scratch. And they were doing commendable jobs running businesses of various sorts such as providing ‘mandap’ services (setting up of temporary structures for ceremonies), bandhani (tie-dyeing), animal husbandry, scrap business, and selling clothes and vegetables.
Zinnatben Jeda is one among those industrious women. She has been the leader of the Joint Liability Group (JLG) Sayona Mahila Mandal. They had collectively borrowed an enterprise loan of Rs. 62,000 a few months back. I was here to check on how their lives had been impacted by this loan.
It’s been for six long years that Zinnatben, with her hard work and patience, has established her own little petty shop. With the Milaap loan, she was able to buy a lot of stock in bulk. The loan helped her in expanding her petty shop to quite a great extent. She earns a sum of Rs. 400 on a daily basis. She told me with a smile, “This now helps me meet all my household expenses. As far as the education of my children is concerned, that responsibility is being properly handled by my husband, who works as a DishTV connection installer. Both of us together diligently save enough to run our household.”
Zinnatben couldn’t have been so successful in running her petty shop without her daughter’s help. Her daughter sells food packets and knickknacks. Her tale of success is an inspiration to all the other group members.
Zinnatben at her petty shop