A loan of $2,250 helped a member to pay for purchasing a sewing machine and empty cement bags.

Brundabati Group's story

The name of this group is Brundabati (the name of the "better-half" of lord Krishna) and it was formed in the year 2009. All the four members of this group are women and belong to Bhuliasikuan village of Nuapada district in Odisha, India. Nuapada is a poor district of Odisha in which 85% of the population is rural based and out of those, 65% belongs to the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. People from the BPL category live on less than one dollar a day. Among the members, Surya is the most active and hard-working lady. She has raised her hand in the photo. She has completed 46 years of age, living with her husband, with one daughter of 14 years, and one son of 16 years of age.

Surya is running a bag stitching business from empty cement bags with the help of her husband for the last 10 years. Now she has two sewing machines for stitching bags. The process of her business is that her husband moves from place to place to contact different builders and contractors for collection of empty cement bags which cost Rs.2/- per piece. At home Surya washes and dries the bags. Then her husband cuts up the cement bags and stitches small bags with his son and daughter. At leisure times Surya also helps in stitching bags.

Along with her family, Surya works at sewing 8 hours per day and stitches 300 bags in two days. Her husband supplies this product in the local wholesale market thrice in a week. As per the calculation of Surya, she gets a net profit of Rs.3-5 per bag. Apart from stitching bags she also procures ready-made bags of some better quality from other areas to add to her income.

In this process, during last three years, Surya has been able to become the proud owner of some important assets like a bike, a sewing machine, and a cooler for her family. All these assets have helped Surya directly to increase the output of her business to a greater extent. Apart from this she has also been able to marry off her elder daughter in a respectable family.

Surya wants to invest a portion of this loan to buy another sewing machine to increase the volume of her business. The rest of the loan will be utilized to buy a bulk amount of empty cement bags, so that she can work for a longer period without any interruption.

Regarding her future hopes Surya wants to create some assets like a TV, a fridge, a cooler etc. out of her income for the marriage of her younger daughter. She also desires to donate a sewing machine to her elder daughter as her daughter intends to run a similar business for her financial sustainability.

The other three members of her group Rajani, Golapi and Phulmati also run different businesses: Computer/photocopy/photo studio, vegetable vending and a cloth business respectively.

In this group: Rajani , Golapi, Surya , Phulmati
*not pictured

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