JHARKHAND: Eight years ago, Hasrat Bano was being terrorized daily by a moneylender for not being able to repay a loan of Rs 10,000. Today, she not only has repaid the loan but Bano is also successfully running her own business and earning double that amount every month. Bano, a resident of Thanwa village under Medininagar Block in Palamu, has seen this change in her fortunes thanks to a self-help group (SHG) of women.
These women are saving money by collecting Rs 10 every week from each member. After joining the group in 2013, Bano immediately took a loan of Rs 10,000 and repaid the moneylender. She later took a loan of Rs 80,000 from the SHG and opened a flour mill and a shoe shop. She is earning more than Rs 20,000 a month now. “My husband worked as a daily wage labourer and we were completely dependent on moneylenders in case of any exigency,” said Bano.
Her life has completely changed after joining the SHG, she added. “Being from a Muslim family, I was not allowed to come out of the house alone. After establishing myself financially, my in-laws have removed all restrictions,” she added. Hasrat Bano is not alone. There are more than 30 lakh such women in the remotest villages of Jharkhand who earlier had to depend on local moneylenders for almost every financial requirement. However, after joining the SHG under the ‘Ajivika’ mission, they now draw money from the corpus fund collected by them in their hour of need.
They can repay it at their convenience. These women are not only coming out of poverty themselves but are also helping other women. Jharo Kunwar, 47, of Rajderwa village under Satbarwa block of Palamu has also succeeded in coming out of the debt-trap. “My family was always debt-ridden as we had no permanent source of income. After joining the SHG in 2016, I took a loan and repaid the moneylender freeing myself from his trap.
Now, we are collecting Rs 10 every week which has increased up to Rs 80,000. Whenever we require money for medical or any other requirements, we get loan easily at the rate of merely 1 per cent and repay it as per our convenience,” she said. She has started goat farming after taking a loan from the SHG. Similarly, Sangita Devi of Namkom in Ranchi started a photocopy shop after taking a loan from SHG and has given jobs to another 5 women from her village.
Gita Devi of Ormanjhi also took a loan of Rs 85,000 for starting a line hotel and is earning Rs 8-10,000 every month. “I belong to a very poor family and had never thought that I would ever have a bank account. But, with the help of the SHG, I started saving Rs 10 every week and have started my own business,” said Gita Devi. The total corpus fund collected by 2.3 lakh SHGs in the state, comprising more than 30 lakh women, has risen to over Rs 149 crore.