A loan of $1,350 helped a member to pay for purchasing bamboo, coloring and finished products.

Maa Tarini Group's story

In the Balangir district of Odisha, India, Baijayanti Pada is one of the slum areas of Balangir Municipality which hails from Ward No.12. There is a special identity of this slum area is that it is inhabited by Mahar community (Weavers of Bamboo craft). Most of the inhabitants of this community are very poor and far away from the basic necessities of life like shelter and education. They reside in small huts and their children rarely get a good education.

The main business of this community is making hand fans of bamboo and selling them in the market, railway station and bus stand and nearby villages. The income they get from this is hand-to-mouth for them. To overcome this situation, In the year 2010 six women of this community formed a Joint Liability Group named Maa Tarini accessing a loan from Mahashakti Foundation for the overall development of their family to improve their existing status.

Guri, aged about 49, is one of these women, sitting on the extreme left with raised hand in the photograph. She is married and resides with her husband, one son of 26 years, and three daughters of 20, 18 and 10 years. Her second and third daughters are studying in +3 degree and 10th standard respectively.

Guri is running her traditional business of bamboo crafts (making of bamboo hand fan).All Guri's family members jointly do the processing work and make hand fans. For the raw materials, her husband has to go 100 kilometers away by train and bring back the raw bamboo. Guri also procures ready-made products from the neighbors. Every week traders from 80 kilometers away come to Guri to take away the finished products.

Guri earns a monthly income of Rs.5000 from her business. With this small income she can barely manage both the family needs and educational expenses of her daughters. On the other hand, her son and elder daughter have also grown up to marriageable age. So Gouri wants to increase the income of her family to meet those expenses. From Guri's present loan a portion will be used for purchasing more raw bamboo and colour for making more hand fan and another portion will be used for procuring finished products. Guri believes that this will help her to increase her income level to some extent. Guri dreams of arranging the marriages of her son and daughter in the near future.

The other five members of the group are Droupadi, Padmini, Santosini, Barsarani and Babby who also do the same business.

In this group: Droupadi, Padmini, Santosini, Guri, Barsarani, Babby

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