Mahila Mandals and Self Help Groups proved to be helpful for Seema Devi in getting help in her difficult times and in mobilizing means of livelihood for her and her husband.
This is the story of Mrs. Seema Devi ji, who hails from village Tang Gram Panchayat Tang Narwana, District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, whose maternal uncle is in Uttar Pradesh, and came here in 2006 after marriage. Due to not being familiar with the culture of the village of in-laws, she had to face a lot of trouble adjusting here. Her mother-in-law, who had been a member of Chinmay Shiv Shakti Mahila Mandal, facilitated by CORD since 1992, inducted her daughter-in-law into the Mahila Mandal in 2010 at the behest of a CORD’s team member. Seema along with her mother-in-law started attending Mahila Mandal meetings regularly, as a result of which she mingled with Mahila Mandal members and became an active member of Mahila Mandal. Mahila Mandal proved to be the biggest help to Seema when her husband met with an accident while plowing the field with a power tiller. Her husband got injured in both legs, during which Mahila Mandal immediately gave Rs 25,000 from Mahila Mandal’s donation for her husband’s treatment and also raised money by appealing to Mahila Mandals of nearby Panchayats. Due to the accident, her family had to go through a financial crisis due to the husband being unable to do more heavy work. With the help of CORD, Seema Devi was given the help of Rs 10000 through her Chinmaya Ram SHG and she started the work of growing vegetables in her kitchen garden and growing vegetable and flower samplings, from which she started earning Rs 3000-4000 every month. When her husband started walking a bit, Seema Devi opened a shop to start a pottery business in March 2020 by taking a bank loan of Rs 100000 for her husband through her SHG. Later Seema Devi started a fast food shop with this shop which increased her income and now Seema Devi and her husband are earning around 20000-25000 rupees every month from all these businesses. Now the family is living very happily. Seema Devi always thanks her mother-in-law and CORD who inspired her to join Mahila Mandal at that time and today it is because of this Mahila Mandal that I have been able to strengthen myself in this difficult time. Seema Devi today proudly says that the Mahila Mandals and Self-Help Groups helped her in her difficult times and gave her the courage to be able to generate self-employment resources for herself and her husband.