I am Rajani Srichandana, a residence of village Orbarsingh in Odisha state. My husband, Mr. ShatrughnaSrichandana is a farmer by profession. My family has a total 10 members and like most of the Indian rural families, we have a small piece of land and cultivation was the only stable source of income. The income from farming was enough to provide our subsistence, but not for saving anything at the end of the month.
During 2015, I came to know about Annapurna Finance and how it helps rural women through a village meeting. I became part of Gangotri self-help group formed by Annapurna in the same year. Annapurna staffs also imparted training on financial literacy and made me aware of the need of saving, household budgeting and importance of income generating activities. In our group, we started saving 50 rupees per head per month and I opened a bank account at Gramya bank.
In the same year, I got a loan of 20000 Rs. And started a small grocery shop at my home. With time, it helped my family to boost our regular monthly income by another 10000 Rs. In second cycle loan, I had an amount of 40000 Rs. and used it for buying more items for my shop. Later, I applied for an individual dairy loan and got an amount of 130000 Rs, which I used to buy three cows for my family. My other family members also helped me in every way possible and currently we have a total of fourteen cows. Our daily milk production is around 100 litres, after keeping 3 litres for my family’s consumption, I sell the half share of the milk to local milkmen. Rest of the milk, I sell it to my neighbors or use for preparing milk produces and sell it then.
Annapurna has helped not only to increase my family income, but it has provided us the avenue for development in last few years. My family has improved our saving and credit habits as well, we no longer depend on the local money lender as our savings suffice for any emergency need. We have started a fixed deposit account for the joint family. We also use a small part of our farm land for fodder production and last year this initiative was awarded at the block level for its uniqueness and importance in dairy business. Because of the opportunities provided to me by Annapurna, I consider the organization as ‘Mother’ and wish to continue with this organization in long run for my family’s development.