Thirteen years ago, after her father's death, when Usha got married to Amit Kumar, she thought that all her struggles will end from now. But life is never easy and predictable; all her happiness starts fading with the passing days. Unemployed husband, joint family with the extra burden of his father-in-law's mentally retarded brother give end to her struggle free life. The family of 5 (Usha, her husband, her father-in-law, mother-in-law and uncle-in-law) was dependent on monthly income of Rs. 2,500 earned by her father-in-law and mother-in-law (laborers in nearby factory).
Situation starts getting worse when the health of her father-in-law starts deteriorating. No other hope was left as her husband was also not able to find job in spite of his continuous efforts. Luckily, Usha had completed a Beauty Parlor Training just before her marriage, so she planned to open a Beauty Parlor with the help of her mother and brothers who live in Delhi. They helped her with small amount with which she can attain some basic requirement of her business, but later she was supposed to manage the fund by herself. Although beauty parlor helped to add something into her family's income, but she was in need of money to continue her business as it was totally dependent on cosmetics that she need to buy from market. It was nearly impossible for her to get money from market as interest was unaffordable for her. Rightly said, "Where there is a will, there is a way", seeing Usha's willingness to take forward her business and support her family, one of her parlor customer told her about Ujjivan and its motive of supporting economically active poor women.
Usha along with her customer contacted our CRS, who use to visit centre near her house and enquired about loan. And here starts her journey towards hope and prosperity. Usha and some of her neighbors formed a group and applied for a loan and within few days her first loan of Rs. 10,000 was disbursed. She purchased some cosmetics and a sewing machine from this loan, in order to expand her business. This capital not only helped her family to come out from their financial struggle but also gave them a psychological support of hope.
Usha got her 2nd loan of Rs. 15,000 which she again utilized for her parlor and tailoring business. Meanwhile, her husband also got a decent job in a distributor's shop. Her father-in-law was now getting all the required medical assistance properly. She also took a loan of Rs. 15,000 from one more MFI but, due to rude behavior of staff that became her first and last loan for any other MFI. She is highly satisfied with the behaviour of Ujjivan's staff and feels obliged by being associated with us.
As, her 2nd loan was about to complete, she approached us for higher loan amount, in Individual Loan. Analyzing her business strengths, Ujjivan gave her loan of Rs. 51,000 which again was utilized for her tailoring and beauty parlor business. Currently, Usha has availed a loan of Rs. 65,000 from which she has also started an additional unit of selling bed sheets. Her business has made her self-dependent as she travels alone to and fro Delhi, twice in a month to purchases the cosmetics and other items for her business. This business expansion is not only providing her with good profits but also helping her children shape their future. Her daughter (11 years) and Son (8 years) studies in one of the prestigious schools of town. Now, her father-in-law also works as a cleaner in Jain Temple, which is in accordance to his health. It is worth mentioning that the tenure for Usha's Rs. 65,000 IBL is 10 months, that results in high EMI amount, but her business skills and Ujjivan's assistance has made her capable of paying it conveniently and on time.
"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within"- Maya Angelou
Above lines stay true for Usha in all senses, her association with Ujjivan has not only provided her the financial strength but also the social platform. In Usha's word "After getting associated with Ujjivan my business starts flourishing and my neighbors start recognizing me. All my struggle and support from Ujjivan has gained me respect from society. People not only know me but also my family. With the help of some of the contacts that I got from my centre meeting friends, I was able to get a job of school peon for my mother-in-law which is more decent and respectful than earlier one. She is happy doing this. Now, we have diversified our income sources. Now, I have planned my expenditures as per various income sources we have. For example, I pay my EMI from what I earn from my Parlor, earnings from tailoring goes into education of my children, my mother in law's salary goes into various household expenditures, my husband's income, my father-in-law's salary and my earnings from selling bed sheets are what we save for our future, for all other small expenses I use the remaining amount of my parlor's earning. This way we not only have prosperous present but also are able to plan for bright future. Ujjivan has given me a lot; actually I don't know how to say all this. I am not that educated to express my feelings into fancy words but yes I owe my smile to Ujjivan. "