Pooja Bai wife of Shivnarayan Parmar originally is from Ujaha village, came to Indore for a better life in January 2017. Both Pooja and her husband took a two month tailoring course and started a sewing business with one sewing machine, in just 10 months they bought two more sewing machines to keep with all the orders they were getting. Pooja started stitching blue jeans for a garment company as a subcontractor. I had an opportunity to visit their operation, I am very impressed with their progress in such a short time. At present they are doing Rs 10,000 per month of sewing work. Shivnarayan keeps the accounting books up to date. Pooja and her husband want to expand their business by buying a 4th advanced automatic sewing machine. ShantiSeva has approved a micro-loan of Rs. 35,000 ($580.00) to buy a new machine.
Over the weekend, I was featured on a TV news channel to talk about the activities of ShantiSeva. The story was in connection with International Women’s Day which took place on March 8.
ShantiSeva has given interest-free micro-loans to fifty people in the last six years, thirty are women and twenty are men. The majority of the recipients have improved their standard of living through the micro-loans. Many families have replaced their mud hut with a concrete home that has a toilet. ShantiSeva has given a total of USD $15,000 (Rs. 10 lakhs) in micro-loans. We have had only 1 default of $60 (Rs. 3,900) because that person died due to old age. That is an amazing track record. Overall, ShantiSeva is very happy with the performance of the micro-loans we have disbursed.
One day in February I was going to the Vijay Nagar area in Indore to buy a new SIM card for my mobile phone. After getting my SIM card, I was walking towards the taxi stand to catch a taxi. When I was walking, I saw a genuine entrepreneur riding a bicycle going door to door for his sharpening services. I stopped him so I could talk to him and understand what he was doing.
His name is Mr. Shamji and was about 45 years old and in normal health. He travels about 10-12 miles every day on his bike looking for business. He earns about Rs. 250 ($3.85) per day. He is very happy with what he is doing. His bicycle is very old, but he was very confident about his bicycle. I finally reached the taxi stand and I took a taxi to go back home.
This is a story I found one day just by walking in a local market. I was very excited about this man’s story and decided it was worth sharing on the ShantiSeva blog. I wish ShantiSeva could help him to get a new bicycle. I wish I had taken his mobile number to contact him in the future. Maybe someday I will meet him again and introduce him to ShantiSeva.
I spoke with Dariyav Singh over the phone to find out how the ShantiSeva micro loan was helping him to improve his family standard of living. ShantiSeva has given him six time micro loans in last five years. ShantiSeva gave the first loan of Rs. 5,000 ($85) in 2012 to expand his business. He is sincere and very regular with his loan installment payments. ShantiSeva last gave him a loan in Feb 2017 for Rs. 10,000 ($170). His sales have tripled in last five year from Rs. 10,000 ($170) to Rs. 30,000 ($510) per month. He is very thankful to ShantiSeva for a helping hand.
As Dariyav Singh says “I am very happy and my family is very happy. My business has increased 200% in five years time. Our standard of living has improved very much. God bless ShantiSeva so they can help more people to become self sufficient.”
This is a story of the five year journey of Nemichand Jain with ShantiSeva. ShantiSeva gave a loan of Rs. 10,000 ($170) in May 2012 to expand his business. He is a very sincere and hard working person. He is very regular in his payment of loan installments. ShantiSeva has given him four different loans in the amount totaling to Rs. 50,000 ($850). He got the last loan of Rs. 20,000 ($280) on May 2017 to purchase the seasonal food for the upcoming festival season. His sales have doubled in the last five years from Rs.15,000 ($255) to Rs.30,000 ($510) per month. He has renovated his shop and house with his savings. His mission is to again double the sales in the next five years.
ShantiSeva has been working in India for the last seven years. During my last visit in February 2017 I had visited all six villages where ShantiSeva is working with local people. I was very much impressed with the progress people have done with the micro-loans. Most of the people have repaid their loans in time. Some families have taken multiple loans and have progressed beyond my imagination, their incomes have increased 500-1000%. Some people started with a loan of Rs. 5,000 ($80) with a regular payment plan and have established good credit and got a bigger loan of up to Rs. 30,000 ($600). I will say that ShantiSeva’s micro-loans have helped poor families to improve their standard of living. ShantiSeva volunteers work in the village to promote health, hygiene and safe drinking water practice in school children and house wives. ShantiSeva has enabled people to connect to other people and help each other to make their village a better place to live
Tapka Basantpur is another new village Ravi Jain visited to interview Seema Bai, she runs a small grocery store in her home. Her younger sister Papita Bai told her about ShantiSeva’s help given to village women to improve their standard of leaving. Seema Bai also help her husband in the fields for garlic and onion. Her husband also helps to run the store. Her three daughters are going to school to do something big in the village. When she talks, you find a confident lady who wants to do something independently and help her husband to supplement their income. Ravi Jain granted her a micro loan of Rs. 10,000 ($150) to stock up the store, this will help her to increase their sales.
We originally blogged about Papita Bai in Jan 2016. This blog is a true rags-to-riches success story in five years. You may recall, Papita Bai is a woman entrepreneur from rural India. She has taken loans from ShantiSeva three times. Her efforts to make a better future for herself have now begun to materilize.
On my last visit to her village, she was running a small shop from a make-shift tent. Now she owns a concrete house. She has converted one room in her house into a well-furnished shop. She has also expanded her product line and continues to sell ornaments and domestic products to the village women.
In July 2016, she bought a sewing machine from the funds provided by ShantiSeva. In just three months, she started thinking about upgrading the sewing machine to include an embroidery attachment. She asked me to request from Mr. Ravi Jain a loan of Rs. 20,000 (about $300) to start a new line of ready-made garments for kids. She also hopes to repay the old loan in the next four installments. She is happy with her life.
Papita Bai in her own words:
I do not know how to thank ShantiSeva for timely help and because to their help, I am now a woman entrepreneur