Shop is the Only Source of Income
Thirty-four year old Gita never went to school. Education was not a priority for children raised in Musahar community – one of the most marginalized communities of Terai. Being a daughter, the chances of education were even slimmer for Gita. Born and raised in the same community, her husband did not go to the school either despite having a school very close to his house, the school which their children – one son and two daughters now attend.
Her husband eventually went for foreign employment when the family of six could not afford two times’ meal working as laborers. Gita and her husband were hopeful to give their children a better life with the money earned as a migrant worker. But, contrary to their dreams, Gita’s husband could not earn well and send money back home. Gita on the other hand, struggled to fulfill even the basic needs of her children including food.
Gita heard about the micro enterprise training one and half years ago through a project staff based in her locality. She instantly enrolled.
Gita was selected and attended the six-day training, during which, she learned about selecting appropriate business idea, setting up business, making profit and expanding business. She also learned about keeping track of profit and expenses. As Gita lived just few meters away from the school, she chose to start a shop in front of her house. “I opted for the shop as my father in-law, who is 65, would handle the shop while I could take care of the farm work and the household chores”, Gita says.
After the training, Gita was also provided with the material support worth Rs. 10,000 to start the shop. Though the business was not very profitable in the initial days, the shop gradually started to make profit with which she added more materials in her shop. “We sell chocolates, biscuits, stationaries and grocery items in the shop”, says Gita. From the shop, Gita earns 10 to 15 thousand rupees a month. The profit has helped her look after her children well. Gita also went on to make enough profit to pay off a part of the loan her husband took to travel for foreign employment.
Gita no longer has to worry about her family’s basic needs. She does not rely on her husband’s income and is confident that she can provide for her children with the income she makes from the shop.
She also saves two hundred rupees in cooperatives daily besides paying off the loans and the household expenses. Gita hopes to save fair amount of money to send her children to better schools. Gita also hopes to start a new business for her husband so that he does not need to struggle in foreign countries to make a living and the family can live together.
Livelihood program under Sponsorship funding aims to reach to the most deprived community and empower vulnerable young people in Saptari district of Eastern terai through training to make them economically active. It does so by providing them with life-skill trainings that help them start up their own business, earn and be economically independent.
Save the Children and its partners work to help youths and young families with vocational training opportunities like tailoring, motorcycle maintenance, starting a shop as well as on-farm activities like vegetable cultivation