Svasti, India: Uma Devi aged 52 lives in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. She lives there with her son and his wife. Uma lost her husband in the initial years of marriage in a road accident. With a small kid in hand at that time, she understood that she was the only person to earn the bread in the house. Uma then started working at a stitching centre to acquire new skills and support her family. After a few years, she heard about Svasti’s Joint Liability Group loans. She decided to take a loan of Rs 20,000 (~USD 270) along with four other women. She bought few sewing machines to start her centre which, after months of hard work, started getting contracts from big garment companies.
After repaying the first loan of 20,000 (~USD 270), she took another loan of Rs 25,000 (~USD 355) to purchase more sewing machines and hire & train local people. This loan not only helped her to increase production but also improved the livelihood of these people.
She proudly explains how the loan enabled her to do something of her own. She now feels financially secure and plans to strengthen her business further. She is thankful to Svasti not only to make her financially independent but also become a reason for women in that neighbourhood to wear a respectful smile.