Rupkala B.K. is a mother of three children. With more than five members to care for in the family, it was difficult for Rupkala to manage household expenses a year ago when her husband travelled around in search of work. Rearing few cattle used to help her pay but it was never enough. She wished she could do more for her children but just paying their educational bills was a tough job. Sometimes buying clothes meant there’d be no food for months. Having gone through such situation, her problems were endless sources of frustration for her.
Her life took a turn when she got introduced to Kimeri Mahila Bachat Samuha (Kimeri Women Saving Group) formed by ECCA. Her participation in various trainings provided her an opportunity to improve her living standard hand in hand with fellow women who have been experiencing similar problems as hers. With the loan of 20,000 rupees that she took from the group, she has been able to gain benefit by investing it in goat farming. “Life has gotten better,” she says. Ever since she took the saving and credit training, she has been saving money in a monthly basis. As a general member, she regularly attends monthly meetings where she discusses about community problems and adoptable solutions with her fellow members. This has helped her in opening up about her problems and also in her ability of public speaking. But it’s not just her personal development that got upgraded. For someone who had never before given a thought to sanitation and personal hygiene of her family, she is now conscious about maintaining hygienic environment in her surroundings. And after attending training on nutrition and home gardening through farmer field school approach and seed support, she regards herself as ‘more skillful’ in being able to produce her own vegetables. “Unlike before, I think myself to be more competent in initiating productive activities. I have learnt a lot and never before I have been this energized”, she quoted.
As forty years old Rupkala sat on her porch, explaining how the women group brought a change in her life, it brought a reflection on how far we had been successful in our attempt to develop skills, capability and unity in women of Jajarkot. Her story resembles lives of almost all women living in Punma. To see the improvement in her life and a hundred more women like her who are directly or indirectly being benefitted through this project would be a huge inspiration for anyone.
-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA