Pushpal Shinde was making a living out of selling artificial jewelry in Nagpur, but with her earnings of Rs.15000 per month, she was unable to support her household expenses, nor send her children to school.
Ratna, who lives near Chennai started her business of trading textiles after borrowing money to set up her venture. However, the high rates of interest from the lender and failure of her business left her with huge debts.
For Kala who lives in outskirts of Chennai, unemployment was high among women in her society. Like her neighboring community, Kala didn’t have a bank account and found it difficult to borrow money when she wanted to buy her own sewing machine.
Pushpa, Ratna and Kala are just few of the many Indian women who have big dreams but don’t find the way or means to build on it. Even today in most parts of India the role of a woman remains that of a custodian who has no access to any financial resources. She is solely dependent on the earning male member to help run the family. This situation has led to many women wanting to get started on opportunities that will help them earn the respect they deserve, and enable them to empower themselves financially.
Balancing Home & Work
All that Pushpa, Ratna and Kala want to do is look for modest means of working that can add on to their family earnings. They want to work either from the house or close by, because the responsibilities at home can’t be left behind. With lack of education leaving them with lesser job opportunities, they look to harness their innate talent and skills, be it tailoring, making jewelry, or even bottling pickles. However, getting started on this journey itself is a huge step forward – they end up facing resistance from family or get no support from their husbands or don’t know where to get funding to start their venture.
No Path Too Difficult
But that did not stop these women from giving up on their dreams. Pushpal Shinde today sells washing powders under her own brand Sara. She also leads a team of employees who work with her.
Ratna has paid off all her debts, and successfully runs her own business of manufacturing and selling incense sticks. Today her daughter is well educated, and Ratna is a proud and happy entrepreneur looking to establish her brand.
With her sewing business being launched successfully, Kala has been able to provide extra stability to her family, ensure her children go to school, and also take care of their health.
A striking similarity between Pushpal, Ratna and Kala is that all three of them did not give up in the face of difficulties. Ensuring they followed through their dreams while providing for their families, today all three are individuals who are standing strong on their own feet. And they were all offered micro credit and trained by Equitas to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs.
Over the years Equitas has helped transform, not only the lives of many such women, but also that of their families. Apart from providing micro credit and loans, Equitas has also addressed the needs and requirements of these families. Now all members of the family have access to education, healthcare, skill training centers and job fairs, along with food security and rehabilitation.
Happy families make for a happy world to live in, and with women as the driving force in these households, there’s no stopping them from reaching greater heights. This Women’s Day, we salute all the women for being change makers, and bringing about a positive transformation- both in their lives and in the mindset of the society.
To be a part of the Equitas Family, visit www.equitasbank.com
Images used for representative purpose only