Subhan Sanchaya Samiti, Keonjhar: a small group with a big stride
On 1st of May in 2000, 15 ladies of Jhumpura village in Keonjhar district got together and formed a Self Help Group. Each one of them put in only one hundred rupees to start with. Thus with a capital of Rupees one thousand and five hundred, this group embarked upon its journey of fulfilling big dreams. Starting in a small way with activities like thunga making, tailoring, polypropylene bag making and embroidery they went ahead and tried their hands at cattle rearing too. They had fixed the interest for all the internal lending at 3 per cent, which earned them good returns. Fara Yasin, a member says that she first took Rs.2000/- as loan from the group fund and purchased papers from Sponge Iron Colony at Rs.6/- per kg. These papers were used by her family to prepare paper thunga which were sold at Rs.10/- per kg which earned them around a thousand rupees a month. Another member of the group, Raina Parwin, borrowed Rs.3000/- from the group fund and after supplementing that with Rs.2000/- as her own contribution, she bought a milch cow. She gets about 6 litres of milk everyday which she sells at Rs.13/- per litre. Her net profit comes to Rs.25/- per day. She has also involved her family members in embroidery work for which they earn upto Rs.250/- every month. Thus Raina earns an additional Rs.1000/- for her family every month.
The members of the group not only limit themselves to these activities alone. They have been supporting the activities of the Anganwadi Centre in their village also. Starting with Nutrition & Health Day, to distribution of dry ration, getting children for immunisation, taking regular weight of children, counselling for family planning and so many other activities, the Subhan Sanchaya Samiti have played a very active role. Their efforts have been lauded by the local authorities too, as it has significantly changed the child bearing practice of the locality. Colostrum feeding to new borns have been a major achievement of this group. Certainly a big stride for this small group. This has strongly proved that such groups which start off with thrift activities can also play a pivotal role in shaping the social and cultural practices of the area.
|Paper Thunga making by