Greetings from Seva Mandir!
Hope you are well. I would like to introduce myself to you. I am Atul Lekhra. I have joined Seva Mandir early this year and I will now be communicating with you through these project reports. I am glad to be a part of this program and look forward to talking to you about all these wonderful projects you are supporting.
Today I want to share with you a story of Laxmi Bai from Shishvi village.
Shishvi village, situated in the Girwa block, hosts 300 families that are from a multi-caste origin. Seva Mandir has set up a village development fund in the village many years ago. People elect a village development committee, which facilitates the fund and development issues in the village. The interest of the fund is used for different purposes: pastureland, well-deepening, toilets construction and to providing loans to women who are members of Self Help Group (SHG). Laxmi is one such SHG member.
She invested Rs. 10,000 in her traditional family business – pottery. Previously she did not have a regular source of income. She was involved in household work and sometimes had the opportunity to work as laborer in MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act - a Government employment scheme). She always wanted to revive her traditional business but did not have enough money and courage to do so.
When she saw the possibility of taking a bit of credit from her SHG, she spoke to her father in law and explored if they could re-establish the family business which was lost due to lack of funds. Laxmi therefore, took the loan of Rs. 10,000. She began her partnership with her father in law to make pots. They bought mud and repaired their wheel to start producing clay art. Later, Seva Mandir organized training on producing different types of articles with clay.
Laxmi said “since now in the market people have access to all modern clay art, if we kept producing the traditional pitchers, we only would make business during weddings. Today the customer wants to buy different kinds of items for decoration and household use. The training therefore was timely. We now also have bought an ‘electric wheel’. Now we make an average of Rs. 2,000 per month. Now I don’t have to go for labor work. I can stay home and make an income to lead a dignified life”.
The SHGs have not only given women economic strength, it has also empowered them socially by bringing them together to discuss their socio-development concerns. These women are active in resolving issues such as doctor not showing up in the clinic, what is the minimum wage in government schemes etc. They contact Seva Mandir staff if they have further questions or seek advice how to go about resolving a particular issue. To these women, Seva Mandir is a key partner to foster development in their village Shishvi.
The success of these women is also largely due to your support. We value our partnership with you and hope that some day you will be able to visit some of these strong women like Laxmi in our work area.
Thank you again for your support.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.