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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-30: SUCCESS IN A NICHE MARKET!

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Matam Shyleswari is 45 years old. She lives in Yatakallu Village in Cheturu Mandal of Anantapur district with her husband and two sons. They migrated here from Karnataka and made a living by running a small provisions shop. There were already five provisions shops in the Village, hence her income was limited to Rs.30-40 per day. As this income was low her family faced a lot of stress and Shyleswari had no money to spend. She had to send her sons to the government school.

When the APRLP watershed development programme started in the village she joined the Shylaja self-help group. 22 self-help groups were formed in the village. The village organisation received a livelihood fund because their saving and credit activity was good. Many members took loans to start small income generation activities. This prompted Shyleswari to think about starting an activity for herself. She had observed that one person had been doing good business selling fancy and rolled gold ornaments for the past three years. She decided to do the same. Seeing her determination her husband agreed with her decision to go into business.  She borrowed Rs.12,000 from the village organisation and started her own “fancy shop” with helpful tips from fellow shop owners at Kalyanadurg.

She sourced popular items from Kalyanadurg.  As she sells her goods cheaper than outside vendors, most of the villagers buy only from her. Thus the business has prospered and she sells items worth Rs.300–500 per day, of which Rs.60–100 is profit. During special occasions of festivals and marriages she sells goods worth more than Rs.1,000 per day, thus getting a profit of more than Rs.200 a day. For two years now Shyleswari has been earning Rs.3,000 per month from her business while her husband is earning Rs.1,500 per month from his small provisions shop. Their economic condition has improved, and the changes are evident.

Their youngest son has joined a residential school where they pay Rs.12,000 per annum as fees; they have built a bigger house, and bought a refrigerator to store cold drinks.  Because she is independent she has bought many household goods and decorations for her home. Thus Shyleswari has become a role model.

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