A loan of $1,875 helped a member to buy bags of charcoal and sell them at a profit.


Esther Group's story

Esther Group is comprised of ten women members who are residents of T. Mangjol Village. The village is located on the western outskirts of Imphal, capital of Manipur, which is one of the seven-sister states in North East India. These destitute tribal women have committed themselves to finding means to strengthen and sustain themselves and their families for which purpose the group has been formed.

Kimneng, the one standing with her hand raised in the picture, is the profiled member. She is 35 and a mother to five school-going children, three sons and two daughters. Her husband makes furniture, which is the main source of income for the family. Her husband being the lone breadwinner for the family, it has been quite difficult for the parents to raise their children. To assist her husband, she is determined to find a way to make some earnings from any source available.

In 2009, financially assisted by WSDS, she started her business in charcoal. She bought bags of charcoal from different people living in and around the village at lower rates and sold them in the main market at higher rates. This profited her and because of this earning, the financial condition of the family was improved. On the other hand, for customers who are not able to pay the price on the spot, she extends credit facility on a monthly basis and this in turn gives satisfaction to the public in general. This time, she is planning to expand the business by buying more bags of charcoal and also supplying it to more areas including those which she has not reached yet.

Not only her, the other members are engaged in piggery and selling vegetables, rice, milk, soap and detergents. Each member has been successful in their respective business and also has fully repaid their loan.

In this group: Nemjaneng, Kimneng, Chinlhing, Phalneikim, Nemneilhing, Veinem, Neikholhing, Chinneineng, Nengjahoi, Nemthenchong



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