Enriching Rural Lives...
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Self Help Groups have transformed lives of many women. Besides economic freedom it has also empowered them in their homes and in communities. Here is the story of Rohini Ranwade, a 10th pass, thirty-two year old woman from Nande village in Mulashi block of Pune district.

“In 2004, our Tuljabhavani Mahila Bachat Gat was organised by Lupin Foundation with support from NABARD. Since then we have achieved many milestones” tells Rohini beaming with exuberance.

Initially, her SHGborrowed 50 thousand from LHWRF. Then, Tuljabhavani Mahila Bachat Gatavailed loan of 2.5 lakh from Bank of India. As they repaid both in August 2015, they borrowed 1.5 lakhs from ICICI bank. In February 2016 and repaid that loan too. Consequently they again availed loan of 6.5 lakhs from NABFIN (NBFC promoted by NABARD). Out of 15 members, 13 women got Rs. 50000/- each and started different ventures through all these loans. Two members purchased buffalos while another purchased cow, one started petty shop. Rohini invested her share of borrowed amount in tailoring and garment shop in partnership with other two members. They are repaying loan instalments regularly.

While discussing the benefits of SHG, Rohini said, “Women who were confined to household activities, stepped out for the first time. It opened new horizons to them. Then they were able to do bank transactions which otherwise was the male domain. Take our example. When we started our business, we did not know places where we could purchase goods. But we searched different markets in Pune city, now we know which distributors can supply goods at reasonable rates. We are working full time, our business is flourishing and we are finding it difficult to fulfilthe demand. Hence we have out sourced tailoring work to other four women. We want to expand it further.”

She also faced challenges. “When we started SHG, I faced opposition from my family, but things settled down when they saw the benefits. Today, I am earning Rs. 5000/- per month and contributing to family’s income. My children are going to semi-english school in Pune city” told Rohini.

While discussing other empowering activities of SHG Rohini said, “We are not just saving but also work on social issues. Two months ago we organized health camp for women. Every year we celebrate women’s day, organize Haldi-kunku, competitions for women etc. Now we are planning to help widow women and poor children in the village.”

She views the future quite positively. “Self Help Groups have changed our life dramatically. Because of this exposure, I became Gram Panchayat member. I have also passed MS-CIT course successfully. There are many women like me who have learnt basic computer skills, thanks to Lupin Foundation, NABARD and other agencies for providing us guidance and support. Today our SHG has internal annual turn-over of 2.5 lakhs. Now our aim is to bring out positive change for each member of the group. We are sure that we will achieve our goal in near future.” says Rohini confidently.

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