Shailaja’s Story – How to Micro-load can make a Macro Difference
Shailaja comes from a poor family in the village of Azadpur. She is married and has four children. She has completed her education up to the 12th standard. Because she married at a young age she was not able to continue her education although she very much wanted to. She always had a desire to do something to help support her husband and family but never had the opportunity.
In 2006 she met an CSS staff member who started talking to her about joining a self help group. She decided to join and soon began to take leadership in the group. She participated in all the trainings conducted by CSS. People in the self help group began to notice that she seemed to have a knack for bookkeeping and asked her to do the bookkeeping for the group. She also helped with the books for other groups as well and was able to earn some money from that.
In the meanwhile CSS needed someone to work as a volunteer and Shailaja was willing. She helped CSS with the groups that were already formed and helped facilitate new groups, linkage building, etc. Seeing her leadership qualities and her good relationships with other stakeholders in the village, CSS sent her to attend other training programmes like the Entrepreneur Development Programs (EDP), Community Health Volunteer (CHV) training and the like. After some time she received a small loan from CSS under the Micro-finance program and also borrowed some more from the group. She started a petty shop in her small house. The EDP training helped her tremendously as she became profitable in the first year. She repaid the loan she took and started earning an income. She recently purchased a cow with her income and with some help from CSS and she is successfully selling milk and earning a good income. With this money she is able to support her family and is able to send her children to a good school in Gulbarga. She feels very confident and empowered. Looking at her, other women in the village have also been inspired to take the Entrepreneur Development Program like Shailaja.