A loan of $1,175 helped a member to pay for purchasing of more stock of leaves and bamboo twigs.

Chatrapati Group's story

This group is called Chatrapati. It was formed in the year 2010. Its five members are all women from the village Bissam Cuttack. It is located in the district of Rayagada, one of the poorest districts in India. Gouri is one of the members of this group. The lady standing extreme right raising her hand in the photo is Gouri.

She is 31 years old, living with her husband, one daughter, age 3 and one son, 8 months old. She has been involved in the leaf plate business for the last 10 years. She makes plates woven out of dry leaves at her house and local traders in the village come and collect them every week. She makes 1,000 to 1,500 plates in a week. These plates are biodegradable, disposable, hygienic, and an inexpensive alternative to modern paper or plastic utensils. These are widely used by local food stalls and hotels to serve food.

Gouri gets the supply of the leaves and bamboo twigs used for stitching from the local sellers in the market and sun-dries them for two days to make them ready to be stitched. Currently, the stock she buys from the local sellers is enough for her to make leaves for one day and sell the next day. She wants to have enough stock to support her business during the monsoon as well when she cannot get dry leaves. So the present loan will be used by her to buy more stock of leaves and bamboo twigs. This additional income will supplement her income during bad weather times when it might be difficult to dry leaves.

Gouri dreams of building a small concrete house for her family and giving a proper education to her children.

The other four members of her group are Pramila, Rabannama, Jaya and Lalita who are running a transporting business with leaf plate trading, a milk business, a tailoring centre and a laundry business, respectively. Since the formation of Chatrapati, all members of the group have been working hard and continue to work with unity, honesty and sincerity.

In this group: Pramila , Rabannama, Gouri, Jaya, Lalita

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