A loan of $1,850 helped a member to buy garments, especially warm clothes and blankets to sell in her village.

Donsu Group's story

In 2009, these tribal women created a platform for themselves and formed a group of 10 members called Donsu where they can help one another to generate income for a better future.

They live in a village in the hills of Manipur, which is in the northeastern part of India bordering Myanmar. Agriculture is still the main occupation in this part of the country.

The woman with raised hand is called Mathiuboniu. She is 25 years old and is a mother to a son, 6, and a daughter, 4. Both her children go to a private school which is 3 km from her village. In her new home she lives with her husband and one brother-in-law (21 years old). Her husband is a lorry truck driver by profession and the brother in-law is a trained carpenter.

In 2009, with her first loan of INR 5,000, she invested in ginger farming, employing her brother-in-law. With the good harvest she profited INR 15,000. Without spending a penny and with her husband's help, she invested in buying equipment and tools to open a carpentry workshop for her brother-in-law. Eventually, the carpentry workshop became a good investment for her. Today she can employ two more carpenters to assist her brother in-law.

With her second loan of INR 10,000, she continued her ginger farming on a bigger scale. Unfortunately she was unable to reap a good harvest due to rodents and she suffered a great loss. However she was able to repay her loan from the carpentry investment.

She needs another loan and this time she wishes to venture into selling of ready-made garments. She plans to go to a border town of Myanmar and Manipur, a trading centre with all kinds of foreign goods. With the winter season approaching, she plans to invest and use her loan for warm clothes and blankets to sell in her shop.

Similarly, the rest of the group members have made steady improvement with their respective businesses and will use their loans to expand. The business of the members, apart from the agricultural sector, includes weaving, paan shop, laundry service, clothes, merchandise and selling of consumption commodities door to door.

In this group: Wisemliu, Mathiuboniu, Aningtu, Adou, Athon, Wilamsiliu, Siron, Aliuhongliu, Aliuboniu, Pouchun

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