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Small Loans: Big boast to small businesses: Case study of Meera

Sitting confidently in her shop, conducting business on a mobile phone is not something you see many low caste women in a rural village in Rajasthan State in India do every day. She is an icon and a leader for her peers and runs her own enterprise- ‘Matching and Sewing Centre’. Meera is 30 years old and a mother of three children who go to private schools, an achievement not many in the village can boast of. The transformation of Meera from an uneducated woman who was dejected by her in laws to a successful entrepreneur and an aspiring student of Class 8th have been possible due to the financial and business help she has been receiving from Planned Social Concern (PSC) since 2006.

Meera has been a regular partner of PSC and is currently on her fourth business loan cycle of $ 475 which she is confident to pay off soon. However until five years ago Meera was just another woman in the community who struggled hard with her daily existence which entailed her to cope with an ailing husband (a terminal case of tuberculosis), a difficult mother in law and three hungry children who weren’t receiving an education.

Today she is a proud owner of a shop in the village: a role model for many women and a teacher for many young adolescent girls who come to her to learn sewing free of cost.

While doing the interview I realised that Meera’s success and confidence is something she has achievd during her long association with PSC.With every loan cycle she has witnessed a significant change in her life which has helped her to develop faith and confidence in herself. Her growth process began when she took the first loan and bought herself a electric sewing machine to expand her business followed by an inverter which ensured that her sewing would not get affected due to the erratic electric supply and now she is learning how to ride a motorbike which would increase her mobility.

Planned Social Concern We INVEST, not LEND On recalling her journey from poverty to empowerment she says that her driving force was always the desire to provide her children with a good life and not let them feel the poverty and the misery she witnessed. Today she and her healthier husband work very hard to save money to ensure higher education and a better life for the children.

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