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Success Stories from North –East for Women Empowerment

PIB Feature
NEDFi is also facilitating marketing support to the artisans of NER through exhibition participation and its various showrooms at Guwahati & Khetri in Assam, Imphal in Manipur, Aizwal in Mizoram, Namchi in Sikkim and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. The showrooms at Guwahati, Khetri and Aizwal are under NEDFi’s direct CSR support and the rest of the showrooms are setup in collaboration with various established NGOs/Societies of the locality.

  1. Name: Leishangthem Bala Devi
    Address: Khurai Konsam Leikai, Imphal East
    Activity: Kauna (water reed) products making

Leishangthem Bala Devi, a potential handicraft artisan producing various “kauna” (water reed) products. She is a hardworking woman aged 50 years and mother of a son.

She has experienced many struggles in life before she became one of Chanura’s clients. She used to engage herself in weaving as her livelihood activity. As she weaved simple and ordinary clothes, she could not make much profit out of it. Moreover, her husband used to work as a mason and his income was not regular. It was difficult for them to meet their daily household requirement and even her son’s educational expenses added to their suffering. Like other parents, Bala wished her son to get proper and quality education. She felt depressed as she could not afford her only child good education nor she could not upgrade her living standard.

Until one fine day, one of her locality’s sisters introduced her to Chanura Microfin Manipur and when she learned more about Chanura, she felt that Chanura is the real mentor of poor and needy people and she has decided to join Chanura.

After, joining Chanura she continued her weaving activity for some duration. Thereafter, she started to try her hand on kauna products, the technique she learned from her ancestors. She started making kauna mat, as kauna mat is one of the indigenous handicraft products in the region which every house required. Day by day, her product became popular and the demand increased. Later, she added different other products, like kauna- bags, baskets, files, vase, etc. after attending Livelihood Skill Training Program of Chanura. Now, she is able to earn more income and profit. With subsequent cycles of Chanura’s support, her business on Kauna products is flourishing. She is able to extend her house veranda as her work shed. Now, she is able to afford her son’s education in a good and popular school.

She also expressed, “With Chanura’s financial support and various trainings my business grew, my management skill improved and today, my family is able to own an auto-rickshaw, giving additional income, as my husband uses to earn as a public carrier”.

She wholeheartedly thanks Chanura for helping her to overcome all her life’s challenges and lead a new, better lifestyle.

  1. Name: Wangkhem Rezia Devi
    Address: Kwakeithel Haobam Marak, Imphal West
    Activity: Artificial flower’s bouquet and vase making

Rezia, 38 years, mother of three children, is a dynamic woman running a successful business on artificial flower’s bouquet and vase making. Her husband is an auto driver and they both run their family together.

Before joining Chanura, Rezia’s family condition was so miserable that they could not even meet their daily expenditure. Moreover, her husband’s income was so less that they lived on hand-to-mouth. They faced many difficulties owing to the little income. She was unable to afford admission for her children and they dropped out from the school. To cope with the challenges of the family, she started to work as a wage earner.

Though she worked as a wage earner for her survival, she always had the stamina and creativity to start some business of her own. She dreamt of starting an artificial flower making business, as she had learned the technique from one of her neighborhood sisters. But, due to the lack of capital, she could not put her dreams into action. Although she has the skill, she was unable to run the business independently.

When one of her neighborhood sisters proposed her to join Chanura, she was extremely happy and she felt that her dream to run her business on artificial flower was coming to life.

After joining Chanura, there was no looking back for her. She started her own business, making different products of artificial flowers. Her products became so popular that she started getting bulk orders. She also participated in different exhibitions and fairs to showcase her products. With the incessant support of Chanura, her business had expanded to the point that it needed hiring a few employees. Now, her family enjoys a better lifestyle. She is also able to afford education of her children in good boarding schools.

Rezia expressed, “Today, I am not afraid of the struggles in life anymore and I am ready to explore and strive towards the zenith of success”. She thanks Chanura with all her heart for transforming her life from a wage earner to a successful self employed woman, who can render job opportunity to others as well.

  1. Name: Mrs Maya Rani Singh

Mrs Maya Rani Singh, aged 35 years of Sawmill area of Pasighat, District East Siang of Arunachal Pradesh who had lost her husband in the year 2015, found  difficulties to survive with her lone child. Nightingale Finvest Pvt Ltd (a sister concern of Nightingale Charitable Society, who have been associated with NEDFI as an assisted MFI since 2003) initiated its Micro credit operations by the year 2015 at Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh with the funds from NEDFi under “NEDFi Microfinance Scheme for unserved & Underserved Areas”.

Mrs Singh came to know about the development through peer groups that the NBFC-MFI is providing Micro credit to women belonging to poor and low income group of the society for income generating activities. She became member of a Joint Liability Group (JLG) in her area with a view of availing loan from Nightingale Finvest Private Ltd. She was found eligible for availing micro credit by the NBFC-MFI and accordingly she could avail her first cycle loan of Rs.9,000/- (Rupees nine thousand) only in the year 2015. She started a tea shop with the help of the Micro credit loan from the NBFC-MFI.  After repaying the entire loan with interest, she availed the second cycle loan of Rs.15,000/- (Rupees fifteen thousand) only in the year 2016 and in  the same year she graduated her tea shop to a tea cum stationery shop. Her stationery business started to grow with her dedication and presently her loan intake capacity has grown to Rs.30,000/- with improvement of her stationery shop business.

She is now living happily with her lone son. Her monthly income is now ranging from Rs.10,000/- to Rs.12,000/-. It was possible only due to her sincerity, hard work & honesty and also for financial support received from Nightingale Finvest Private Ltd.

  1. Name: Mrs. Laldinpuii

Mrs. Laldinpuii, wife of Mrs. Lalthansanga of Aizawl in Mizoram was a hawker and engaged in lime packing activities. Her husband also worked at cable T.V. as a collector, lineman and as operator. As their income was very poor and they were not able to maintain their family properly.  

Although both of them were engaged as worker for carrying out the above mentioned activities, they could not meet the entire expenditure required for surviving their family members. Mrs Laldinpuii started her Frying Chana (Fast Food) business with a view to increase her family income for meeting her family expenditure including her son and daughters education.  First she had started her frying chana (Fast Food) business out of her own capital. However, the capital required for running fast food activities was not adequate. So she started borrowing from Nightingale Finvest Private Ltd. First she borrowed Rs.15,000/- i.e. first cycle loan for purchasing required materials for running the fast food business.  Thereafter  she  continued to borrow fund from Nightingale Finvest Private Ltd to increase her business and presently in the fourth cycle of loan her intake capacity has grown to Rs.40,000/-.

Her product is now supplied to wholesaler/retailer of 15 local areas. She is now able to earn more and also to spend more for her household needs as well as for study of their son and daughter. She is thankful to Aizawl Branch of Nightingale Finvest Private Ltd for providing micro credit  otherwise it would not be possible for her to run her fast food business. 

  1. Name: Ms. Umeswari Barman

Ms. Umeswari Barman is an inhabitant of village Choudhuripara (Mana Basti) under Bongaon Development Block of Kamrup district, Assam. She is residing with her husband and one son & one sister-in-law in a small cottage. The villagers of Choudhuripara (Mana Basti) are very poor and are unable to meet the day to day basic needs.

They came from Bangladesh at the time of separation of Pakistan in the year 1972 and the then Indian Government kept them in a camp at Bongaon. After a long time, the Indian Government allotted one katha land to each family and provided them livelihood based training facility, such as, making murha, tailoring, and other cane & bamboo related items. She got training on tailoring cum embroidery, but had no capital to open a tailoring shop.

She availed a loan of Rs.7000 from Grameen Sahara and opened a tailoring shop by hiring 2(two) sewing machine at her home. She was able to earn a satisfactory amount on regular basis and therefore, paid her installments timely.  In 2nd cycle she availed a loan of Rs.12000 and invested the whole loan amount on purchase of cloth to make school uniforms, sarees, churidars, etc. and grew her earnings steadily. She had also acquired a micro insurance policy (Jiban Madhur) through Grameen Sahara & paid her premium regularly from her earnings. She has expanded her tailoring business with 4 sewing machines and started to take orders from markets.

  1. Name: Ms. Ningombam Sunibala Devi

Ms. Ningombam Sunibala Devi of Thoubal Okram runs a Clothes Vendor. She is mother of three, two boys and a girl. Her husband, a mason was the sole earner but they could not manage the household expenses with the erratic mode of payment of labour charge as payment was made on monthly basis. So she decided to run a clothes vendor. Initially she was dealing with less costly items such as inner wear, blouse etc. but income from the activity was not enough to manage her household expenses. Then she decided to expand her business and borrow a sum of Rs.25,000/- from local money lender. In spite of these, her economic condition could not be improved as she has to repay the borrowed money at high interest and she almost lost hope. Then she came to know about YVU Financial Services Private Limited.

She was provided a first term loan of Rs.25,000/-. Then she added various readymade lady garments such as wrappers (phaneks) of various kinds, chunni etc. After that her business gets a big boost and from then onwards, there was no turning back. Now she is availing 7th term loan of  Rs. 1 lakh.

The continuing relationship with YVU Financial enables her to become one of the main players of women’s readymade garments dealer in the market. Nowadays, she is able to send her children to better educational institutes and her socio economic status in the locality has improved a lot and she inspired some in the locality to start their own business.

  1. Name: Ms. Yengkhokpam Prava Devi

Ms. Yengkhokpam Prava Devi is a 55 year old woman residing at Chingmeirong, Imphal East, Manipur. She is a hard working woman who never gave up despite all odds in her life. She has total of 7 family members. She is engaged in charcoal selling business. She bought the charcoal (bags) in whole sale rate and then packed in various small size bags and sell it in different prices. She used to sell Rs. 4000/-to Rs. 5000/- per day and earn profit of Rs.400/-to Rs.500/- daily.

As the demand increased, she needed more fund to stock the charcoal. She borrowed Rs.10,000/- from local money lenders @7% interest per month. After some time she found that major portion of the profit earned was used to repay the high rate interest loan and thus, she could not expand her business.

She got to know about VVD (an MFI assisted by NEDFi) based at Ukhrul district of Manipur and availed a loan of Rs.15,000/- in the first cycle. Her daily sales increased from Rs.5,000/- to Rs.10,000/-and profit increased at the same time. Based on her repayment track record, VVD extended Rs. 30,000/- in the 7th loan cycle. With the timely support of such low interest rate loan she is now able to earn more profit which helped in meeting her family’s daily needs and provide for her children’s education and also able to save some amount every month. From her experience she is very much satisfied with the loan amount, interest rate and repayment schedule.

8 . Name: Ms Salam Sangita

Ms Salam Sangita is a 40 year old woman residing at Thangmeiband Lourung Purel Leikai, Manipur. She was earlier a national level handball player before she got married. Weaving clothes and doing a business was a far cry for her but her fate led to something else which was beyond her imagination and capacity.

When she was newly married, her husband was a private school teacher and running the family with his meager income. At that juncture, Sangita was unable to just sit and wait for daily needs from her husband.

After giving a thought she pawned her jewellery items and started her clothes business. She came to know about Chanura Microfin Manipur, a NEDFi assisted MFI based at Imphal & was willing to join one of the women groups to avail loan from the MFI. Unfortunately, the other members were reluctant to let her join as they doubted on her ability of repayment.

Later, one of the members left the group and she got the chance to join. Her husband advised to usethe money wisely in right way to run her business. They realized that instead of borrowing money from the money lenders, taking loan from Chanura was much more beneficial to them.

Now her business is running well and her products are in demand throughout the year. In the group, which rejected her first she has become an example as a very good member who pays loan on-time. She not only finds progress in business but also in household management too. She is able to create assets, send her children to good school, etc. She said, “I am indebted to Chanura, as the progress I am making is all because of Chanura, I am very happy now and thankful to Chanura for enabling me to reach this stage”.

Last modified onThursday, 05 March 2020 18:35
Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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