Sattevva, Sarswati and Sharavva proudly constitute the resilient group of women who were able to break free of the ancient Devadasi system. They have chosen a life of freedom and dignity and they work hard for this life. During my Kappalaguddi visit, I had a chance to meet with Sattevva and Sarswati. Both of them took a Milaap loan a few months ago to expand their individual buffalo rearing businesses. They both work as agricultural laborers. The money they earn by selling buffalo milk, serves as an additional income and they are able to save most of it for future security.
Meeting with Sharavva was quite educational for me. Sharavva lives in Manjari village in the Belgaum district of Karnataka with her husband. The two of them took me to their brick construction site situated at a river bank and explained in detail the entire process involved in making bricks. The manufacturing price of 1 brick estimates to an average of Rs. 2 and they sell it for Rs. 3. Although the total quantity sold fluctuates heavily, but they are able to sell at least 50,000 bricks in one month making a minimum profit of Rs. 50,000. Sharavva took a Milaap loan to buy raw materials for expanding her business and I was very happy to see that their business was booming.
These women come from different villages, their stories differ and yet they all have 2 things in common. First, they have all faced untold injustices in their childhood. Second, their will to live life and prosper is stronger than it ever was before.