Mrs. Hemavathi, aged 38 was living a very happy life with her husband and two children in Arasikere but misfortune was waiting for her by way of taking away her husband in a fatal accident. When she lost her husband, she didn’t get any support from her family or that of her husband’s family. As the sole bread winner of her family, she started working in different houses as a domestic servant for minimum wages. As she was not able to pay the rent of the house she had to shift her house to a nearby slum, without basic necessities and amnities. Meanwhile she came to know through her neighbours about the SHGs facilitated by CMSSS. Initially, she did not show any interest in joining the SHG. Later on with the regular visit and guidance of animators (field staff) she joined the Ranjini SHG and started saving a little amount every week during the meeting. In the beginning she found it hard to find free time to attend the meetings gradually she felt the need of SHG meetings and adjusted her time to attend the meetings regularly.

One day when she was at home in the morning she heard the voice of the vegetable vender going from door to door to sell vegetables. This made her reflect on her present work, and thought why not she too start this small business which needs minimum investments. She expressed her desire in the SHG meeting. All the members supported her idea and sanctioned her INR 10,000/- as a loan. With this amount she purchased the vegetables from the wholesale market and started selling them door to door. After a year, she shifted her house from the slum to a better residential area and continued her business. She earns about INR. 300 to 400 per day. She is able to send her children to good school.

Municipality elections were declared. With the support of SHG members and the guidance from the CMSSS staff she decided to contest for the elections. Without any political pressure and support she won the elections with maximum votes and became a member of Municipality. Daily from 6 am to 10 am, she sells the vegetables. After 10 am she goes to municipality and actively looks into the issues of people of her ward especially the poor. She visits the families of her ward and listens to their difficulties and complaints. Wherever possible she renders her services to solve the problems

Hemavathi has helped some of the SHG women to get municipal sites to build houses. When a disabled child was rejected by one of the schools, she met the administration and got that child re-admitted to the school. She takes active part in each and every activity of the SHG and federation. Even now she is regular to the meetings of SHG and federations and disseminates the information on the govt. schemes and facilities to the poor. She is always grateful to CMSSS.

Misereor has changed lives and given livelihoods! Back