A loan of $1,900 helped a member to purchase a deep freezer and build a kiln.

Maa Maheswari Group's story

The name of this group is Maa Maheswari (named after a village deity of the locality). All four women members of this group belong to Kurebhana village in Bolangir district in Odisha, India and are in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. People from the BPL category live on less than one dollar a day. Saila, sitting in the middle with her hand raised in the photo, is one of the members of this group. She is 40 years old and lives with her husband, two daughters who are 17 and 15 years old and a son who is 19 years old.

Saila’s husband is landless. He does daily labor and earn a very small income. Saila runs a milk processing unit at her house. She has only one cow, which produces 8 to 10 liters of milk per day. As the milk is not sufficient, Saila and her husband go to three or four nearby villages and collect 200 liters of milk per day to process and produce milk products like Paneer, Chhena (cheese), butter, ghee, khua and Peda (a sweet item made of khua) and sell them to earn an income of Rs 400 to Rs 500 per day in the off season (August-October). In the peak season, i.e. in the marriage season, (November-July) they earn Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per day by selling the milk products. She employs a person to help her in the processing. She has a small freezer to keep the products and supply in the market but it is insufficient for her. With the loan, she is planning to purchase a deep freezer of 1500 kgs capacity to store the milk products for days together and sell them at peak time to earn more profit. In addition, she has a plan to construct a cement kiln for her processing unit. At present, she is educating her children in the nearby high school and college. As providing college education is very expensive, she is trying to increase her income to meet the demands of her children. She has another plan to construct a house, as the present house is crowded..

The other three members of her group (Jayanti, Sanjukta & Kahara) are running grocery shops and a milk business, respectively.

In this group: Jayanti, Sanjukta, Saila, Kahara

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