Sushila Devi, a 28-year-old woman from Shivpura village, is a mother of the young boy. Tears roll down her cheeks when she narrates her story. She was very young when she got married. She wanted to continue her education, but it was hard for her because as her family was very conservative family. Girls would drop out of school as soon as they reached puberty. Despite the odds against her, Sushila did not give up on her dreams
Sushila came to know about the Sakhi Project and was keen to participate. She attended the meetings and learned about the concept of SHGs. However, her reluctant in-laws would not allow her to step out of the house and join the group. Sushila was persistent with them, ad eventually her husband caved in and allowed her to join Tejaji Self Help Group.
Sushila was nominated as the Samuh Sakhi of her village by her SHG members. The process of selection of Samuh Sakhi is transparent and done on a rotational basis. The idea is to develop a second line of leadership and motivate the women to take charge of their community and village. She promoted the importance of small savings, and encouraged the women she interacted with in the village, to form self- help groups. She also helped other groups of her village in book keeping (a practice of recording and maintaining the daily accounts of the SHG) and writing work.
She has earned immense respect for herself, and especially the women in her village who are incredibly thankful to her for counselling and help.Today, the confident Sushila says, “I earn respect not only from others but also from my husband and in-laws. This is the biggest achievement of my life”.