At 38, Amul from Velliyur Panchayat overcame a challenging childhood marked by a severe fever at age 3, which left her unable to walk and stunted her growth. Unable to attend school due to her mobility issues, she faced social isolation and embarrassment, further compounded by her inability to marry, unlike her three siblings.

In 2016, Amul’s life took a positive turn when she joined the Chinmaya Sathyajothi Mahila Mandal and Chinmaya Malli Self-Help Group. CORD community development workers counseled and motivated her, helping her emerge from isolation and work towards self-empowerment. Living in a modest home without basic amenities, CORD assisted her in constructing a toilet and obtaining a Unique Disability ID and disability pension.

With her parents, Smt. Paapathi, aged 58, and Sri Perumal, aged 65, Amul faced financial challenges, relying on limited MNREGA employment and government pensions. Through the Self-Help Group, she borrowed funds to start goat-rearing and received assistance from CORD to purchase a cow and learn backyard dairy farming. Her endeavors grew to include 15 goats, 2 cows, and a calf, along with small-scale kitchen gardening and cattle feed projects. Despite physical limitations, Amul earns Rs. 6000 per month.

Her journey of self-reliance has not only boosted her confidence but also positioned her as a community leader. She now leads the Chinmaya mini Umang group, comprising 12 individuals with disabilities in her village. Amul conducts monthly meetings, offering guidance and support for starting livelihood activities and facilitating loans through the Self-Help Group.