A loan of $2,425 helped a member to purchase rice, wheat, lentils, oil, etc.

Maa Mahalaxmi Group's story

In the year 2009, four active women from Khariar town of Nuapada district in Odisha, India formed a group named Maa Mahalaxmi to access a loan from Mahashakti Foundation and expand their businesses. Lilabati is one of them. The smiling lady of 41 years standing at the extreme right in the photo and raising her hand is Lilabati.

Lilabati lives with her husband and two daughters, aged 15 and 13 years. Her family belongs to a Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. People from the BPL category live on less than one dollar a day. Her elder daughter is studying +2 science, and the younger daughter is studying in ninth standard.

Lilabati has been running a general grocery shop in her locality for the last five years. This is the only source of income for her family. She started the business in a very low-profile manner with a small investment of her own. At that time, her monthly net income was around 2,000 INR. It was very difficult for Lilabati to maintain her family and meet the educational and other expenses.

After formation of the group, Lilabati took the first loan of 10,000 INR and purchased some grocery items like potatoes, onions, oil, sugar, tea dust, etc. After six months, her business started its growth, and simultaneously her income was also increased manifold. With her second loan of 25,000 INR, Lilabati again purchased some more items, and customers started knowing her business better. With the third loan of 30,000 INR, she added a shelf to her grocery shop and made a counter table with glass to have a good look, which will attract the customers and thereby increase sales.

During this period, Lilabati did an innovative idea by motivating a lady to start a tiffin center (lunches or lunches-to-go) adjoining her shop, so that she could sell oil, sugar, dough, potatoes, etc. regularly. This idea of Lilabati’s was materialized, and she earned some extra income.

Lilabati’s husband actively helps and supplements her business. Within a short span, Lilabati successfully was able to increase the monthly income level from 2,000 to 7,000 INR. Out of this, she was able to send her elder daughter to the capital city of Odisha (Bhubaneswar) for studying +2 science.

As per her statement, Lilabati was able to increase the variety of items in her shop, but not the inventory. She wants to increase the stock of raw materials. So, according to Lilabati, a portion of the present loan amount will be used to purchase items like rice, wheat, lentils, oil, etc. for her general store, and the other portion will be used for extension and repairing of the storeroom. This will help her to reduce her purchasing and transportation costs, as she will replenish her stock frequently.

Lilabati hopes to save enough for building a good house for her family, as the present house is very small. She also has a dream to give a better education to both of her daughters. Lilabati, with a sentimental mood, expressed her satisfaction that she has achieved the total success due to the timely support of Mahashakti Foundation.

The other three members of the group are Subarni, Kanakamanjari and Sanjukta, who are running general grocery shops and tiffin stall businesses.

In this group: Lilabati, Kanakamanjari, Subarni, Sanjukta

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Loan details