A loan of $1,550 helped a member to buy more stock of raw materials like sugar, dough, and cooking oil for her sweets business.

Mahabina Group's story

Mahabina (The name of the Hindu Goddesses of Education) is a group of six active and energetic women from Muniguda village of Rayagada district in Odisha, India. This group was started in the year 2010 with a purpose to raise the income level of their families.The featured member Sudeshna is one of them. The lady sitting to the extreme left raising her hand in the photo is Sudeshna. She is 40 years old, living with her husband and three sons aged 20, 18 and 16. All her sons are attending college.

Sudeshna has been in the sweets-selling business with the help of her husband for the last 20 years. She makes six different types of locally popular sweets like Lavang Lata (fried dough dipped in sugar syrup with a clove on top), Gulab Jamun (fried round balls of dough dipped in sugar syrup), etc. Her husband runs a sweet stall in the local market where he sells these products. They also supply to three local bakeries and for any other functions in their village. Sudeshna cooks for 6 hours over an open fire every day making 30-40 kg of sweets with a daily expenditure of Rs.2,000/-.

She needs to replenish her stock of raw materials like dough, oil, sugar, and firewood every three days. She says these raw materials are subject to price change very frequently and that she has been a victim of the price change many times due to her frequent replenishment cycle. A portion of the loan amount will be utilized by her to buy raw materials in bulk and store them to shield herself from price fluctuation losses. This will also help her to save the repeated transportation costs and buying costs.

Sudeshna wants to see her sons as respectable engineers and government employees in society. So she and her husband are working very hard to save enough for the education of their children. She has plans to invest her increased revenues to build a separate kitchen room to make it easier for the preparation of her sweets.

Trupatimayi, Nirmala, Purnabasi, Sumati and Gauri are the other five members of the group who are involved in businesses like tailoring, leaf plate making, auto repair shop, etc. They are all very hard-working and enjoy the group interaction with a good understanding amongst them.

In this group: Trupatimayi, Nirmala , Sudeshna, Purnabasi, Sumati, Gauri

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