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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-50: DEBT-FREE AT LAST!

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A woman from Malchalma village in Zaheerabad Mandal in Medak has proved that acquiring new skills can turn the family’s fortunes around. Methari Prameela and her husband worked as agricultural labourers, earning Rs.35 and Rs.25 per day respectively.  They have two daughters and two sons. As they
did not have work every day Prameela’s husband migrated to Mumbai. Even then they used to fall short of money for running the house and educating the children. Therefore they borrowed money at 3% interest.

The APRLP watershed programme being introduced to this village was like a boon for Prameela’s family. First Pramela joined a selfhelp group and started saving. As the group proved that it could conduct its savings and credit activity successfully, the responsibility of developing a nursery was entrusted to it.

Prameela was trained for this job in Sangareddy. She quickly acquired the skills of raising a nursery and was better than anybody else in her group. The project staff noticed this so they took her to other watersheds to train her as a resource person on nursery development.  Prameela trained women in other watersheds on the stage wise development of a nursery. For this she was given a daily honorarium of
Rs.150. After training, Prameela got work for 30 days and earned an additional Rs.3, 000. Today she travels all over conducting nursery training programmes.

Prameela put in the money she had saved and took a loan of Rs.10, 000 from her group. With this she set up a business selling cloth during festivals. This earned her another Rs.5, 000. With her newly acquired skills and the help of the DWMA she is taking care of her family better than her husband. Earlier she had decided to stop her daughter’s education after the tenth standard, but now that she has the means she
has been able to send her older daughter to a nurse’s training course. She is educating her other children also. Her second daughter is studying in college, her older son is in standard ten and the youngest son is in standard seven.

Now that she is earning well her husband does not have to go far away to earn a living. She says that her husband is very supportive of her activities and they are both debt-free and happy. Her aim in life now is to mould her children into productive beings without going into debt.

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