A loan of $2,200 helped a member to buy yarns of different colours to weave and sell as finished products for a good price.


Diana Group's story

These 12 hard-working women belong to a Tribal community. In 2010 they formed a group and called themselves the “Diana Group”. They all live in a small remote town called Saikul which is in the state of Manipur in the North Eastern part of India. It is about 70 km in distance from the main capital, Imphal.

Themneo, one of the 12 members, is pictured with raised hand. She is 28 years old and is a mother to two sons and one daughter. All her children go to a private school in the town. Her husband is a cultivator by profession and the breadearner of the family. She helped her husband cultivating rice on leased land. That could never sustain them from buying rice while waiting for the next harvest, because the share of the harvest is one-third of the produce, which is to say that the owner of the paddy field gets double the share of the cultivator. In order to supplement the family income, Themneo decided to start weaving, the only activity she is good at. In fact, she started weaving at the early age of 16.

With her first loan she bought yarns and started her weaving activities. She wove traditional shawls called “Saipikhup” and wrap-round skirts called “Khamtang” and it takes about 6 days to finish each respectively. During the cultivation seasons she would schedule her time: three days for weaving and helping her husband in the field for two days. She actually made more progress with her business than she had imagined. Without much effort she was able to repay her loan and save money for household maintenance. Now, in order to expand her weaving activities, she apprentices her weaving skill by employing two learners. She has plans to create her own designs and start a weaving school in the long run.

Themneo has short-term and long-term goals to mention. In order to do her weaving full time she aims to enroll her children in a boarding school so that it will be a win-win situation for her children as well as her business. Her long-term goal is to purchase a paddy field big enough to sustain them for the whole year round.

Now she needs another loan to expand her weaving activities. Having employed two more weavers, she means to use the loan to buy yarns of different colours to weave and sell the finished products for a good price. She also will need money for buying clothing for her three children.

In this group: Neikho, Lhingneichong, Tinnem, Martha, Hekim, Themneo, Hevei, Hechong, Henei, Kimbem , Chochoi, Ngainu



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