A loan of $2,925 helped a member to buy more merchandise to stock and increase her inventory level to expand from a retail to a wholesale shop.

Maa Majhi Gouri Group's story

This group’s name is ‘Maa Majhi Gouri’. It has been formed this year with the support of Mahashakti Foundation. Its members are all women from the village of Bissam Cuttack of Rayagada District of Odisha in India. Rayagada is a tribal district of Odisha where 85% of the population is rural and 65% of them belong to the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. People from the BPL category live on less than one dollar a day.

Nilima is the leader of this group. The lady who is standing to the extreme right in the photo in the blue sari is Nilima. She is 30 years old, living with her husband, one daughter aged 9 and one son aged 4. She has been running a small grocery shop in a good location in the market with the help of her husband for the last 12 years. She sells items like rice, wheat, biscuits, cool drinks (sodas), etc.The tribal people from the surrounding villages are her customers.

Nilima's day at the shop starts at 8 AM after sending her children to school and ends at 8 PM. She takes a 2-hour break in between to cook for her family. Her husband helps her in getting the stock from the nearest market. She works hard to give her children a good quality of life by utilizing her time as best she can. She makes leaf plates woven out of dry leaves and local snacks like “murku”( chips) in her free time and sells them to her neighbors. These activities help her to supplement her income from the shop.

She wants to buy a huge stock of what she is selling right now and make her retail grocery into a wholesale shop in Bissam Cuttack town. There are almost 10 villages who could be the potential retail customers for her shop. A portion of the loan will be utilized by her to increase her inventory level and expand her retail shop into a wholesale shop. She hopes to increase her revenues through this and send her children to a good school. Her dream is to see her daughter become a doctor and serve the poor people of her region.

The other three members of the group are Kusum, Jayasree and Minakhi who are involved in the grocery business as well. All members of the group have been working hard and continue to work with unity, honesty and sincerity under the leadership of Nilima.

In this group: Kusum, Nilima, Jayasree, Minakhi

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