Salim lives in a single room with his wife and four daughters. He is disabled - and uses a prosthetic "Jaipur Foot" to enable him to walk. Before daybreak every morning he takes the train out to the wholesale market in a suburb of Barrackpore where he purchases fruit, whatever is in season, to sell from his cart on a street corner in the slum close to his home. When I visited Salim in August, he was selling guavas. Salim was one of the fortunate recipients of a grant to help him improve his income. He explained how difficult life had been before his £80 grant. In order to buy his stock, Salim needed to borrow from the local moneylender. Annual interest rates with these lenders are typically 36% and his repayments made it very hard for Salim to make enough money to keep his family. The grant helped Salim to clear his debt and to buy stock. He told me that this has doubled his daily income from Rs150 to 300 (from around £2 to £4 per day).
Under the terms of the grant Salim has promised to keep his daughters in education and to attend meetings and training courses to help him run his business and his finances better. He has also pledged to repay the grant back into a revolving fund which will be used to help other needy families.
Salim's story shows how your donation has been very well spent. Salim is a hardworking and responsible person who was being crushed by a debt he couldn't clear. The staff at Tiljala SHED knew Salim well and were delighted to be able to help him. This grant ensures not only that Salim's family will now be more comfortable, but also that the next generation stays in education. As time goes on Salim will repay small sums into the revolving fund and more families will benefit.
Please consider a further donation this holiday season to help others like Salim to make a better life for their families. So far you have helped 87 families. Another 250 have been identified and we need the funds to help them.
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