|Dadimo: Innovating Livelihoods|
Dadimo, 41, has managed to rebuild her life through her Self-Help Group at Sosopi, a small hamlet in the remotest block of Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.
With a small landholding of 0.14 ha. – and a husband suffering from prolonged illness – it was a difficult life for Dadimo being the sole breadwinner of the family. Besides working as an agriculture labourer in other farmers’ fields, she kept a small breed of livestock, which she often needed to sell in order to make ends meet. No matter how hard she was working, her family’s food sufficiency would last for only six months.
Dadimo is now the proud owner of a shop, on which she devotes her days, while at the same time managing cultivation in their own and leased land. She is also an active federation member of Self-Help Groups in her panchayat.
It was in October 2003 when PRADAN first set up a Self-Help Group in Dadimo’s village. At that time, the group had 14 members. Dadimo was the seventh member to take out a loan from the group funds. She used her first loan of Rs. 200 for her puffed-rice business. That loan had a cycle of one week which she repaid within two weeks. Within a little more than three years, she took out 16 cycles of loan, amounting to Rs. 66,600. Dadimo has proven herself to be one of the most credit-worthy members of her SHG, having repaid all of her loans on time.
She used her money to invest in her own shop and create improvements for her farming, a task she fulfilled with training support from PRADAN. Today, Dadimo earns an average profit of Rs. 2,300 every month from her shop and around Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 8,000 a year from her vegetable cultivation.
And she continues to innovate. With her latest loan of Rs. 12,000, Dadimo plans to purchase bullocks both for use in her own field and for offering them for hire. Moreover, she seeks to engage her husband’s cooperation in managing a paddy de-husking machine.
Dadimo is a fine example of how SHGs can help change lives. Just recently, she managed to transfer her son from the village school to Saint Teresa in the nearest town.
She saves Rs. 100 every week in the SHG, and for her loans, makes two Recurring Deposits of Rs. 580 and Rs. 100 in the nearest Post Office. She says, “If you can properly use the money you need not stick with one business only. The only thing you need is courage.”
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