It was 2:00 p.m. The weather was getting sultry. With no electricity in the entire town of Dhrangadhra that day, the condition seemed to be deteriorating. Taking long steps, I, along with two members from the unit staff, finally reached the house of the Milaap borrower which I was to see for that day. The street was crowded with a sea of children who, in order to escape the sweltering heat, were loitering around by playing Kancha (a traditional game that involves marbles).
Poonam, a delightful 4-year-old girl was completely engrossed in playing with her doll. The sight of that beautiful child was enough to bring a smile to my face. Kamlaben Parmar, the mother of this beautiful child, has been running her small cutlery business for two years now. With the loan from Milaap, taken five months ago, she was able to expand this business by purchasing her stock in bulk. Kamlaben’s husband, who is an autorickshaw driver, has been a constant source of support and encouragement to her. This 29-year-old industrious and enterprising woman was completely well informed regarding the crucial role played by education in the development of an individual. Due to difficult circumstances, she could study only till the primary school level. But she strongly wants to provide a proper education to all her three children.
“I am working and saving just to make sure that all my children are well-educated,” she said with a determined voice.
Kamlaben is now able to save a sum of Rs. 2500 on a monthly basis. She intends to grow her business further by renting a space so that she can start selling things on a larger scale then. At present, she runs the business from her home. She travels once in a while to buy the stock from bigger cities such as Ahmedabad. By the end of our conversation, her little one came to bid me goodbye with a big bright smile at the doorstep. I couldn’t help but feel ineffable joy.
Kamlaben all smiles with her 4-year-old daughter Poonam