Red Sari- Token of Solidarity, Individuality & Sense of Pride
Rawa is a remote village situated in the difficult terrains of Girwa Tehsil. Most men in the village are employed as day laborers; the women stay home and tend to the house. With barely any livestock and agricultural land there is an acute dearth of the means of livelihood. The men would get the day jobs intermittently with no perpetual means of income. In case of emergencies loans at high interest rates were provided by the Thekedars or shop keepers. There was no common platform for discussions as everyone was involved in their own daily drudgery
Three months ago 3 CRPs from Dholpur district approached the women to join the Khushi SHG and inspired them to start saving and investing for the future. Initially the men of the house were skeptical of the effectiveness of the SHG. They wanted the women to not become part of the group as they suspected the groups will steal the money and be bad influence the women. The women however resisted these allegations and joined the SHG and managed to keep meeting regular meetings every week. Their determination to save bore fruit as today they have saved an amount of Rs 4500, with a saving of Rs 20 each for the members. The SHG has been able to earn an interest of Rs 78 to date, along with a collection of Rs 29 in other collections, and most of the
money has been used to give loans for the members which is the most important feature of SHG because some use it for their children’s education, health emergencies, wedding expenditures and other uses. Now they don’t need to depend on thekedars for money lending.
Being associated with SHG has been a transformation for the women. They have been saving a substantial amount, socializing and discussing issues at a common platform. They now have aspiration founded in concrete financial plans. The women say that they want to run the SHG till each and every one of them defeats poverty. The women feel empowered by the group, and capable of fighting the society that is holding them back. To mark this transformation and as a token of solidarity the women purchased Red Saris, to mark their individuality and sense of pride
SHG members now proudly proclaim that “this group helped us regain our confidence, build our self-esteem, and infused hope that no adverse situation can ever hold us back anymore. We will continue to move forward, one step at a time”.
The group is a beacon of hope and progress in the remote village of Rawa fuelled by the courage and determination of the members of Khushi.