Kaptan Singh was brought up in a joint family of three brothers in a small village called Ugah. They have an ancestral farm, where all three brothers work on it and earn a small amount of money which is just sufficient for their meager living. In 2010, Kaptan Singh decided to move to a big city like Indore with his wife Aruna Bai for a better life and support his brothers in the village. Kaptan work very hard and established a successful landscaping business. I had visited his house in March 2018 and meet his wife Aruna Bai.
I asked Aruna Bai can you help your husband in increasing their household income while staying at home. She then asked me for ideas. Then I asked if she could stitch clothes for her neighbors and earn extra money that way. Her answer was yes, I can do it! But she said she would need money to buy a sewing machine and get some basic training. ShantiSeva gave her a micro loan of Rs. 20,000 ($300) to buy a sewing machine and start her home business in July 2018. Aruna Bai is doing a very good business of stitching garments for other people. Her income has increased from nothing to over Rs. 3000 ($50) per month in just three months.
Aruna Bai In her own words:
I will double my business to Rs. 6000 ($100) per month in next six months
Durga Prasad has been in the construction business for the past four years. His average monthly sale is about Rs. 5,000 ($100). He builds 1 bedroom & 2 bedroom houses in the villages nearby. He is a sincere and hard working person. The village Surpanch (village chief) had recommended his name for a micro-loan. SST granted him a micro-loan of Rs. 20,000 ($400) in March 2012. He is very prompt and regular in this repayments. He bought about 200 square feet of prefabricated form-work for pouring cement with this loan. This form-work helps him to increase his sales. Now he is averaging Rs. 8,000 ($160) per month. His business has increased in the last 8 month about 60%. Because of the extra work load he has to rent the form-work from outside. During my visit on November 18, 2012 he had shown interest to buy another 200 square feet of form-work, this will increase his sale and reduce his renting cost. SST has promised to give him another micro-loan of Rs. 20,000 ($400) in the near future.
Forum Singh has repaid his loan in two years and on time. This loan has helped him in saving some money for a rainy day. He is planning to buy more buffalos and increase his daily milk sales. His life has changed by the Shanti-Seva Trust (SST) loan. Shanti-Seva has rewarded Forum for his regularity in payments and hard work by giving back all the interest he paid to Shanti-Seva which was about Rs 5,000.
Forum Singh says:
Shanti-Seva Trust’s grant of Rs. 25,000 gave me a chance to improve my standard of living. In the village people are asking how to join SST. The grant by SST also gives hope to other people in the village who want to improve their lifestyle as well
When ShantiSeva contacted Nemchand back in November 2010 his store sales were roughly Rs. 4,500 per month.When Ravi of ShantiSeva had visited Nemchand’s store on Nov 18, 2012 he was very impressed with the progress that Nemchand had made in a short two year period. In 2011, his sales increased from Rs. 4,500 per month in the first half to Rs. 15,000 in the second half of the year. In 2012, his average monthly sales increased from Rs. 23,000 in the first half to Rs. 25,000 in the second half. Nemchand’s sales had increased 400% in just two years! He has paid back the loan from ShantiSeva Trust. Nemchand also keeps a log book of monthly sales and purchases for each item in the store. This log book helps him to track his profit & loss of the operation.
Nemchand asked ShantiSeva Trust for a new loan to further increase his sales. ShantiSeva granted a new loan of Rs. 10,000 in November 2012.
Ravi of ShantiSeva Trust says:
I am very much impressed with Nemchand’s progress in the last two years. This is one of many successful entrepreneurs who benefit from ShantiSeva Trust’s microlending program.
Before moving to back to his home village in August 2011, Govind worked for a garment manufacturing company in the city of Indore for six years. He moved back to the village because he missed village life and wanted a better environment for this his three daughters aged 1, 4 and 7. After meeting with ShantiSeva officers Govind requested for a loan to start a General Store in his home. ShantiSeva has granted a loan of Rs. 15,000 in October 2011. Now Govind earns about Rs. 6,000 per month from the General Store. And he is very happy with his family in the village.
I was very worried about moving back to my village and not having enough income. We now make enough money to take care of our needs. My family is very happy living in our village.
Before joining Shanti-Seva’s Self Help Group (SHG) Forum Singh started a business with two buffalos giving him an average daily income of 400 rupees (or $7 USD) a day. A $452 grant from the Shanti-Seva Trust allowed Forum to purchase one more buffalo. The third buffalo increased his income by fifty percent. Forum is planning to put this extra income in a savings account and buy a fourth buffalo in the next two years.
Forum Singh says:
Shanti-Seva Trust’s grant of Rs. 25,000 gave me a chance to improve my standard of living. In the village people are asking how to join the SHG (Self Help Group). I am able to save all my income from agriculture. All my household expenses are covered by sales of milk alone. The grant by the Shanti-Seva Trust also gives hope to people in the village that want an improvement of their life style as well
Jasmat Singh lives in a joint family of eight members consisting of his father, mother, wife, two sons, and two younger brothers. Jasmat Singh and his father take care of the 8 acre family farm. Jasmat’s younger brothers also help with the farming.
A loan from Shanti-Seva trust has enabled the family to buy a buffalo, thereby providing employment to one of the brothers. The milk from the buffalo is not only enough to satisfy the family’s dairy needs, it also generates 100 rupees a day in income from the sales of the extra milk. This extra income will help them to acquire additional buffalos in the coming years.
Jasmat Singh, in his own words:
The loan from Shanti-Seva Trust could not have come at any better time. I was under a lot of stress about how to put my younger brother in a business so that he can be independent. Now I plan to hand over the dairy business to him. Thank you Shanti-Seva Trust for your timely help!
Mohar Singh Malaviya’s family consists of his parents, wife, two boys and one girl. Both boys and the girl do very well in school. The whole family depends upon Mohar Singh’s income from his convenience store, which is a part of his home. His wife takes care of the children and older parents.
At present his monthly sales are approximately Rs. 3,000 per month ($60 USD). The ShantiSeva Trust has given him a loan of Rs. 10,000 ($200 USD) to increase his sales. With this loan Mohar Singh added some new items to his convenience store. Now his average monthly sales have increased to Rs. 6,000 per month ($120 USD).
Mohar Singh volunteers his service as a Village Group Leader in which he monitors other entrepreneurial projects funded by the ShantiSeva Trust. He reports his findings to both ShantiSeva’s leadership and the village Sarpanch*, which is the local government /tribal leader. Mohar Singh also collects monthly loan repayments from business owners funded by ShantiSeva and deposits the money in the bank.
Mohar Singh, in his own words:
I am grateful to the ShantiSeva Trust for giving me Rs. 10,000 in financial help. This has helped me to raise my standard of living. I will further increase the number of items in the store from the new savings and this will increase my sales even more.
*Sarpanch: A sarpanch is an elected head of the village government called Garm Panchayat (Village Government). Together with other elected Panchas (Five) members constitute the Garm Panchyat. The Sarpanch is focal point of contact between government officers and the village community.