Women Empowerment: Swarashati Achieved Financial Stability
Swarashati Rani Das is one of the poorest members of Mailakanda union under Gouripur upazila. Her husband is Sujon Chandra Das who is a labor of carpentry work. By selling his labor, he is able to earn Tk. 200-250 per day. They have two sons and along with Sujon’s parents, there are five members in their family. It is almost impossible for Sujon to bear the financial expenses of his family.
Swarashati was in great anxiety thinking about the situation. She had a great inclination for saving money and she always tried to keep some hand cash as an emergency fund in order to support her family. From her childhood, Swarashati kept fighting with poverty. She was deprived of the fundamental needs of her life due to poverty. She knew the importance of savings by bones as she was facing the hardship from the very beginning of her life.
“I kept searching a way for relieving the plight of living in poverty. My life was being distressed day by day. I could not understand how I could get rid of this situation. Once I intended to share my agony with my neighbor and came to know about ADRA and their activities from my neighbor. Then I saw the light of hope,” explained Swarashati.
She attended to an awareness session organized by ADRA Bangladesh and decided to become a member of a group operated by Women Empowerment Project (WEP) of ADRA Bangladesh. Now, she is an active member of Surjokona Mohila Unayan Group formed by WEP, ADRA Bangladesh. She decided to share all her anxieties with other members of the group, they also became depressed hearing her story.
The group members were asked to tell about their desire and capacity for future plan. Swarashati expressed her willingness of involving with any income generating activities. So, the group members suggested her to get involved with home-based sewing work. But she had not enough money to buy a sewing machine. The group members suggested her to take a loan from the group. She agreed and took a loan of Tk. 4,000 according to her savings ration as per group loan disbursement rules. That was her first loan and the amount was not enough to buy a sewing machine. For this, she had to invest Tk. 2,000 more from her emergency saving fund. She bought a sewing machine with Tk. 6,000 and started to learn sewing work from one of her neighbors.
Within a short period of time, she has learned sewing and started working on it. Now, she is getting orders from neighbors, big tailoring shops and local garments. She is doing an excellent work and earning Tk. 3,000-3,500 per month as an extra income for her family. She has been able to increase the amount of her savings in the group along with her emergency savings in the home.
Within a year, she has been able to return all the dues for loan installment and has taken the second loan of Tk. 7,000 for supporting her husband to start a carpentry shop of his own. By adding some amount from emergency fund along with the loan amount they have started a carpentry shop. Her husband is a skilled carpenter and he has the ability to make different wooden furniture. He is now selling those to the local market and at the same time getting orders from households. Sujon Chandra Das also inaugurated a Laundry Corner along with his carpentry shop.
To expand the business, they need more money and they have to depend on the loan. Thus, after returning the second loan they have taken Tk. 10,000 as third round loan and have invested the money for their carpentry shop.
They are enriching financially day by day and are able to bear all the family expenditures along with the educational expenses of their children. Their family is now financially stable, now their capital is more than Tk. 90,000. They are living in peace.
“We are grateful to ADRA Bangladesh for their encouragement, support, and guidance which help us to achieve financial stability. We ask blessings from the almighty creator for ADRA so that the organization can do the good work for other needy people around the world,” Swarashati and her family expressed their gratitude to ADRA Bangladesh.