A loan of $1,375 helped a member to pay for purchasing empty cement bags and procurement of ready-made items.

Maa Sublen Group's story

This group is composed of six members from a small rural village called Barpadar in the district of Nuapada of Odisha – one of the backward districts in India, mainly known as a drought-prone area of underdevelopment.

The lady sitting third from right, raising her hand in the photo, is one of the members named Prema. She is 50 years old, living with her husband; one son, age 25; and her daughter-in-law, age 22. Prema hails from the very poor, landless, illiterate Schedule Caste (SC) Below Poverty Line category. She is running a rope-making, procuring and selling business. This is a traditional business in her community. Previously, the people of this community used to make rope from cow and buffalo skin. Due to social restrictions and progressive mindset, this has been replaced with plastic rope. These items are specially used to fasten domestic animals like cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats.

Her husband and son help Prema in all aspects of the business from the processing part to selling of the products in different weekly markets in her locality. Her entire family works 8-10 hours daily making these items. Her husband covers six weekly markets a week by using public transport and a bicycle for selling the products. Apart from this, her husband also goes collecting raw materials from different contractors and builders which is a very time-consuming task and hampers the production. In a week, her family earns 1,500 to 2,000 Indian rupees (INR) which is not sufficient to manage her family.

Prema wants to increase her income by adding some extra stock of empty cement bags and a self transport facility. She wants to have enough stock to allow her business to run throughout the year smoothly. Prema wants to utilize the present loan to purchase more stock of empty cement bags and to procure ready-made products from her locality.

Prema dreams of having a bike for transporting and marketing her products as per her own sweet will. She also wants to construct a house, as her family is living jointly in a small house.

The other five members of her group (Kshyanaprabha, Dukhli, Bandei, Bilash and Bhumisuta) belong to the same community and are doing a similar business related to rope-making and selling.

In this group: Kshyanaprabha, Bilash, Bhumisuta, Ban, Prema, Dukhli

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