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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-36: LAXMIDEVI AND NAGARAJU – IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT!

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Twenty-four year old R Laxmidevi and her husband Nagaraju who is thirty years old live in Bondalavada Village in Narpala Mandal. They belong to the Dhobi (washerman) community.  Nagaraju worked as a van driver and earned Rs.1, 500 per month, but this was not enough for them to lead a decent life. In 2002, when APRLP started, Laxmidevi joined the Peddammaswamy self-help group and so saved some money every month.

In 2003 she took a loan of Rs.15, 000 from the village organisation supported by the APRLP and bought a second-hand auto. Her husband ran this auto, and was able to earn between Rs.100–150 per day. He repaid the loan amount successfully. He then rented his auto to his friend at Rs.200 per day, earning Rs.6, 000 per month. Laxmidevi took another loan of Rs.20, 000 from the village organisation and they added another Rs.15, 000 from their own savings and bought a diesel auto for Rs.35, 000. Nagaraju now runs the diesel auto between B Pappuru and Narpala and earns Rs.200 per day after meeting expenses. Thus the two autos fetch them Rs.12, 000 every month, of which Rs.3, 000–4, 000 is spent on the maintenance of the two autos and Rs.1, 000 is paid towards repayment of the loan. The remaining Rs.8, 000 is either saved or spent on the family. Now they even educate their children in private schools. Therefore, the couple feels that the watershed development programme of APRLP has changed their lives.

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