A loan of $1,225 helped a member to pay for purchasing grams (lentils), rice, mixture, oil, etc.

Maa Durga Group's story

Indu, an active married lady of 32, is a resident of Bolangir town of Bolangir district of Odisha, India. The lady standing in the middle of the front row with raised hand is Indu. Her father-in-law migrated to Bolangir 25 years ago in search of work and since then her family is residing in a slum area of the town. In her family she has her husband, one son aged 14, and three daughters aged 10, 5 and 2 years. She hails from a below-poverty-line category.

To increase the income of her family, in the year 2010 she involved herself along with other four women of the same category of her locality and formed a joint liability group named Maa Durga to access loans from Mahashakti Foundation.

For 15 years Indu, with the help of her husband, has been running two mobile businesses units with push carts. The first one is selling a mixture of puffed rice and boiled gram locally known as “'mudhi' mixture” and second one is mobile vending of low cost fancy items like balls, cups, plates, glasses, plastic containers, toys etc. in different localities, moving here and there. Her husband runs the 1st business from 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm in front of a school area and from 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm in the market area.

The timing of the 2nd business is from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon. The role of Indu in running the businesses is to prepare puffed rice, boil gram, pack related items and make the push cart ready to go for selling. For this she has to work for 15-18 hours daily. Apart from this she has another two push carts which she has given on rent to other persons.

Indu gets a monthly income of Rs.3000-4000 INR from these businesses and it is very hard to manage the household, educational, medical and business expenses.

Due to financial constraints she could not store more items and has to face losses due to frequent purchase of items at retail cost. So she wants to use the present loan for purchasing of more stock of gram, rice for preparation of puffed rice, mixture, oil, plastic toys and containers at a wholesale rate to avoid financial losses due to fluctuation of material costs from time to time. She has also a plan to start another two business of chart (mixture of boiled gram, vegetables and spices) and 'Gupchup' selling in other two pushcarts by employing two people.

Indu hopes to give better education to her children and dreams to construct a 'pucca' house to have better living conditions and to see her children in respectable positions in society.

The other four energetic group members are Rashmita, Anandini, Santosini and Pankajini who are doing goat rearing, a mobile repairing center, tailoring and vegetable vending businesses respectively.

In this group: Rashmita, Indu, Anandini, Santosini, Pankajini

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