This is the success story of a family that has identified, availed and utilized Government Welfare Programs very well, for their growth and development in life.
The family backdrop:
|In their old house|
Sunitha, aged 37 years, a member of Prakruthi SHG, and her husband Raju, live in Kodiugane village of Chamarajanagara Taluk / District, with their 3 children. They are daily wage labourers and earned about Rs.1200 per month. They did not possess any land, no sanitary facilities, no safe drinking water and no liveable house. They lived in pathetic conditions but they are very hard working.
The 3 children were getting educated and are good in their studies – the elder son Pramod is doing his ITI – staying in a boarding, Praveen Kumar his 1st PUC and the last son Sachin Paul is in 9th Std.
Sunitha and Raju were unskilled labourer and had faced many challenges as they struggled to maintain their family and bring up the children. There were days when they could not afford even 2 good meals a day. Owning a good house, giving proper education to her children, etc. was unimaginable.
Role of the SHG in Sunitha’s life:
It was very providential that Sunitha joined the Prakruthi Self Help Group, organized by ODP in the area. This was one of the most wonderful things that could have ever happened to her at this juncture in her life. She was regular for all the SHG activities and the SHG members supported her morally and financially. They helped her to come out of the shell she was stuck in and interact with people, for a happier living. Then came the miracle called ‘SAVE A FAMILY PLAN’. In 2010, Sunitha’s family was selected for assistance under ‘the Family Development Project’ – a project organized and financially supported by SAFP.
Income Generation Activities:
Together with her family, she unfailingly participated in the programs which the Coordinator and the field staff regularly conducted to create awareness on family budgeting, kitchen garden, health and hygiene, life skills, leadership, role of parents, Government welfare schemes, fundamental rights, Life Insurance, etc. This did the family a lot of good. Their communication and marketing skills improved and they were enabled to establish linkages with supporting agencies – both Government and Non-Government Organizations.
She decided to come up in her life as she was exposed to wider knowledge through participation in the trainings and awareness programs organized by SAFP and the SHG.
In the year of 2012, she received Rs.10,000/- from SAFP with which she purchased a milch cow. This brought an additional monthly income of Rs. 600/. Now Sunitha found it easier to afford her day to day expenses and the cost of educating her children, food, clothing, shelter, etc.
Innovative and Enterprising
After a lot of collective efforts of the SHG and her own efforts, Sunitha was able to get a 30/40 sq. ft piece of land from the Panchayat. In 2013 she received Rs 10,000/ from the donors to build a house and in 2014 Rs 16,000/- for housing and toilet. This money she utilized very judiciously. She became innovative and enterprising as she wanted to build a good house for her family. She approached ODP for assistance. Through the federation she took a loan and also availed other facilities offered by ODP. The children received educational scholarship of Rs 5,775/ per annum. She contacted Govt. departments and was able to get Rs.75, 000/ under ‘Indira Awas Yojane’, a Government housing welfare scheme. She received Rs 9200/ under MGNREGA / through panchayat for constructing a toilet. With all this Sunitha built her family a nice little house with a toilet.
Sunitha – empowered:
Today Sunitha is economically empowered and able to manage all the needs of her family: a small house is constructed and her children are being educating. She has savings of Rs 32,000/ in a Bank, Rs 62,000/ in LIC and Rs 2500/ in her SHG. Besides, she has acquired a few assets for the family, like – a small bike worth Rs 28,000/, a dining table and chairs costing Rs 12,000/, a TV set worth Rs 15,000/ and 15 gms of gold worth 42,000/. The family has 2 bicycles too, for the children.
Above all, Sunitha was elected a member of her Panchayat through active and regular participation in Grama Sabha meetings. Now she is giving awareness to people about Government schemes and trying her best to develop her village and all the FDP beneficiaries, by being a role model to them.
Grateful to SHG & FDP
Sunitha is ever grateful to ODP for organizing SHGs in her village and SAFP for adopting her family. All the development in her family was possible because of her association with the SHG and FDP who gave the techniques and skills that the family acquired (in communication, investment, business, customer service, negotiating, etc.) and helped her implement different schemes and get a better status in life. Primarily it is the grit, courage, determination and the will to change her life – that has made Sunitha and her family thrive.