This is the story of Subhulakshmi, A Woman who always believes in herself, even after facing hardest of difficulties in life. Subhulakshmi is our Individual Loan customer from Singanallur branch. She was born in Thirunalveli in 1968, youngest of 4 Girls in her family. When she was a child her family did not have anything to call as their own. But now she is a proud owner of a small mess/tiffin centre in Coimbatore which is run by her and her husband. So far, this may look like just another success story of thousands of our customers across India. But what happened in between, is what makes this story worth telling. As a child Subhulakshmi was never given a chance to attend school. Due to their family condition she had to help her mother with the house chores.
She got married to Muthuappan in 1982. They started their life without anything but love for each other. Muthuappan's family was traditionally into running a small hotel in the locality. In the beginning, the couple had to work in hotels to meet their needs. After few years, with the little they have saved Muthuappan started a hotel in his native along with his 3 brothers. Just when they thought all were going good, they had to close down the business due to some misunderstanding between the brothers.They moved to Coimbatore right after that. The couple started a small hotel near Gandhipuram bus stand in 2000. They named the hotel Vasanth Bhawan which means 'Spring Home' in the native language. They were in a new place without anyone to help with 3 girls to feed. They were struggling a lot with Ends just meeting the Needs but Once again just when the business was getting better they faced the most difficult phase of their life.
Sometimes in life small mistakes leads to big troubles, same happened when Muthuappan accidently cut one of his toes while clipping nails using a blade. Thinking it was just a tiny cut, he did not attend to it. It later got infected and aggravated because of wrong treatment by a doctor. Muthuappan had to take off his left leg completely. The treatment cost them, all their savings. Just when they thought worse was over; somehow his other leg also got affected. Doctors told they need at least 8 lakhs to operate and amputate the other leg but even then there was very little chance to save him.They stood alone in a new place with no money, no one to help and three daughters at the age of 14, 16 and 17. They almost gave up, when Muslim league party in a nearby area somehow heard about their miseries and offered to help the couple. They took Muthappan to Kerala and borne the whole cost of operation. They had to stay in Kerala for one and half years to get completely cured, meanwhile for the stay, medicine and other expenses they had to sell off their Hotel. "Think you are in Trouble Thinking of giving up…Think Again!!!" They returned back to Coimbatore, The family had lost its entire life savings and muthappan his legs. Once again subhulakshmi had to work in hotels like the bad old days. She stated there were days they had only 1 meal a day. Subhulakshmi and her eldest daughter and their courage were the sole supporters of the family.
After a year, they again decided to start business. But they could not get finance from any of the financial institutions. She expressed that "only if they had known about Ujjivan that time, their life would have got better soon". She told at that moment, "We had nothing to lose and everything to gain" so we thought why should not we try again. With little capital from friends she started making Idlies (Rice ball) and selling it in front of her house. They struggled again but because of the taste and quality, they got repeat customers. Meanwhile, she came to know about Ujjivan through her friends, joined a group and took her first G.L loan from Ujjivan. She exclaimed, Thanks to Ujjivan we could concentrate in our business without fear. "If u can Dream it... U can Do it!!!"
Slowly but steadily they have build a mess in front of their home. Still, both the husband and wife work at the mess from morning 4.30 till Night 11.30. Muthappan is the chief cook and subhulakshmi manages the rest. Now they have employed 3 people under them. They are proud that they have married all their 3 daughters in a good place.When asked how you faced all this, their answer was "Never be afraid of anything and never lose self-confidence even if you lose everything else in life". When asked if they need any help now, they said "Now that we can manage ourselves we are ashamed to take help anymore". "Now that we can manage ourselves we are ashamed to take help anymore" they remembered taking 8000 Rs loan for the first time from Ujjivan 3 years back and stated they were thankful for getting the money at the time of the need. Their second loan amount was Rs. 15,000. All of which they have put into their business.
They are still with Ujjivan after 3 years as our Individual Loan customer and now they have availed 50,000 Rs business loan and expressed how happy they feel about it. We in turn expressed how proud we feel about assisting such customers in building better lives.