Surajkali is a woman who lives in the village of Neva in Allahabad. Her husband is an alcoholic and does not contribute any money to help run the household.
Life has been hard for her. Her on-going struggle to manage the household expenses made her think that she needed to start her own business to earn enough to make both ends meet.
She purchased a big basket to carry vegetables on her head and also purchased a balance and weights to weigh the vegetables when selling to the customers. In this manner, she started selling vegetables – walking from house to house. For all her effort of walking many miles, she began to earn Rs 50–60 (NZ $1.20 to $1.50) a day.
One day she was talking with her friend when she heard about the Women’s Micro Credit project being run in her village (Neva) by the Allahabad Ministry. This is a project for the empowerment of women like her who are marginalised in their families and in society; such women are left out of the mainstream of society. The Micro Credit Loan Scheme has been planned for these women to address the cause of their poverty.
A Micro Credit loan of Rs. 4000 (NZ $96.00) was provided to Surajkali. She began to sell sacks of vegetables in place of the small quantities that she could carry in a basket on her head. This became her daily routine: buying sacks of vegetables from the big vegetable markets and supplying in wholesale to the shop keepers. Now she is earning Rs. 500 (NZ $12) in a day’s business.
Surajkali has finally found a way to meet her family’s living expenses. Now she carries herself with confidence, her eldest son is married and her household expenses are easily covered; above all Surajkali is no longer dependent on a husband who would not provide for her, the Micro Credit Loan Scheme has empowered her.