Sheerni Educational Project Annual Report (attached)
Sheerni Self-Help Group Project
We would like to tell you a story of two of the women of the project.
“I am from Belwa, near to Balesar, 40 minutes from Setrawa. When I was very young, my father died, and my mother had to go door to door to get food for us. I got married when I was 15 years old and moved to Setrawa. My husband was 25 years old. He was working in a stone mine.
Now, I have 5 daughters and 2 sons. Now I am a widow – my husband died one and a half years ago. I have 4 children still in the house – 2 daughters are married and one, Asu, is at the boarding school in Jodhpur (Sheerni Educational Programme).
Three of my daughters got married at one time to save money, but one is too young to move in with her husband (she’s 14), so she continues to live with me until she is old enough. When my husband died, I got 30,000 rupees from the government – I used this money to marry my daughters and for my husband’s traditional twelve days of mourning.
Dau Devi told me about Sambhali 3 years ago and made me want to join. Before Sambhali, if I needed money, I had to ask my Rajput neighbours for smaller sums. It is better now that I can come to get this money from Sambhali. On my first loan from Sambhali, I took 6,000 rupees for two goats. Now I have four goats, they are providing my family with lots of milk, and later I will sell the two kid goats for money.
My second loan was 2,000 rupees. I tried to start a business selling vegetables door to door, but that wasn’t successful, so I stopped it. It was summer, and the vegetables were rotting. The third time, Sambhali donated one flour grinding machine to me.
Two of my sons and 1 daughter are sponsored to go to private schools in Setrawa.
Trying to choose what is the best thing that Sambhali has given me is very difficult; for me the best thing of all is Sambhali. I like the weekly meetings because if I have any stress or problems I can tell all the ladies in my group, if I need money I can tell the President of the self-help group.
Now I am only one woman and I am doing housework, flour-grinding, and sometimes stone work to support my family. My future plans are to make a small shop attached to my house for my flour- machine and other goods.“
My name is Indra Devi. I am 40 years old. I was married at 15. When my husband and I were first married, he wasn’t working, but then he bought a big stone mine. For a time, we had money. I have two daughters, one married and living in Chaba, one and a half hours away. Five and a half years ago, my husband died in a car accident with 25 other people. The driver was drinking alcohol. The car was full of the men of 4 surrounding houses – all the men in my family, my brothers-in-law and their cousins also died in this car. So then we were 4 houses of only women, who couldn’t do anything. I had to sell the stone mine to help support us.
Then I learned about Sambhali. I had no other ideas of what to do and Govind said he would help us, so I joined the group. I learned about it 3 years ago from a friend. I just started with 50 rupees a month, then I took a loan for 9,500 rupees and I bought a cow. I started to sell the milk from the cow and help my family a little bit. One of the other women in my family now has a flour-grinding machine, and one of my grand-daughters is sponsored by Sambhali to go to private school in Setrawa. Another woman in my family wants to take a loan for a sewing machine.
I’m the older person in my family, so all the responsibility is on me. Seven kids from the family are living with me – kids of the parents who died in the car crash. Now I am not feeling good every day and I wonder, if I die, who will take care of these children? There is still a lot of stress in my life.
Two other women in my family are enrolled in the Narega scheme with the government to work in construction, but I can’t do this work because I am too old. For my next loan, I’d like to start a small shop. We are very far from the market here so all my neighbours and people would buy from here – it would be a good business. I hope to take this loan in the future.
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