A loan of $1,725 helped a member to rent a tractor.

Jaibhim Mahila Sangh Group's story

The self-help group (SHG) “Jaibhim Mahila Sangh” is made up of five diligent women who are starting their first loan cycle with Kiva. All the women are former Devadasis.

Kamalavva (the lady with her hand raised in the picture) is the featured borrower of this group. The members of this group need loans for goat rearing, cloth business, house construction, and to improve cultivable land. They also are daily-wage workers in agriculture fields.

The Devadasi system is an ancient tradition in which a young girl is married or ‘dedicated’ to a deity and would perform religious rituals. The realities of a Devadasi are extremely challenging, since the young women are not able to complete their education, learn employable skills, or otherwise provide for themselves. The young women do not have a choice in this lifelong decision, which often leads to exploitation, poverty, and social exclusion.

This loan will benefit entrepreneurs such as Kamalavva, a 42-year-old woman living in Kohali village, Athani, Belgaum. She is an illiterate woman because of her Devadasi background. Kamalavva is a very hardworking woman. She has her own cultivable land; she cultivates the crops and sells them at a reasonable rate in the market, and she uses some grains and vegetables for her household. She is a single mother living with her three children, who are studying in school. Kamalavva is earning around INR 4,500 per month.

The loan Kamalavva is receiving now will be used to improve her cultivable land by renting a tractor. This will help her to increase her monthly income. She wants to use the additional profit for her children’s education and to change the standard of living of her family.

All the group members are against the Devadasi system because as being a Devadasi, they experienced a lot of distress in their lives. They want to eradicate this unwanted system.

In this group: Souvarna Rudrappa, Bharathi Ramu, Sharanavva Gundu, Ramukka Ballappa, Kamalavva Dundappa

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