I am Mrs. A. Kaliyammal, I am 50 years old and married to Mr. Annamalai. I live in the Arasakulam Colony. I have 3 sons. My husband was a farmer. Me and my husband both are illiterate. My husband’s income was not enough to provide for the family. We did not have enough money to pay the school fees for all three of my children. I used to get the money from money lenders. But it was difficult to pay the money lenders back because they ask very high interest rates.
I joined SINAM’s Self Help Group in 1990. I received a small loan from and got Business Training from SINAM to help me start and maintain my milk business. I earn Rs.150 per day by selling the milk from my cows. I was able to pay back the loan in one year. I earned the lot of money from the milk business and was able to buy a second cow. I was able to pay for my children’s education and all three of them finished school. Now I have three cows. I have a savings account and a pension for when I am old. I am can provide for my family and take on a leadership role within the family.
I am Mrs. K. Meena, I am 30 years old, and married to K. Karthikeyan. I live in the Vadaandapattu Village in the Tiruvannamalai district. I have one boy, he is 10 years old. We are from a Dalit community. My husband was working as a coolie. In a year he earned Rs. 10,000 ($180). My family was relying on his income. My husband was an alcoholic and started working less and less. I was very happy when I got the chance to join a Self Help Group organized by SINAM in 2006. After joining the group I got a loan of Rs. 11100 ($200) from SINAM. I bought four goats and started a business. I was given Business Training by SINAM about record keeping, decision making, saving and reinvestment. I raise the goats and sell them at festivals. After I sell goats, I buy new goats to raise. Over the years I was able to save some of my profit and use this to buy more goats to raise and sell. This Diwali I sold 5 goats. My income has increased ever since I started the business. Because of the business, I am able to provide for my family and the economic situation of my family has improved over the years.
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TAMIL NADU, INDIA