Microfinance helping rural women become independent

Published On: January 31, 2017 12:30 AM NPT By: Sangam Gharti Magar

BAGLUNG, Jan 31: Saraswati Karki of Hatiya, Baglung makes 40,000 a month these days.Despite coming from a middle-class family, she was able to improve her economic condition with her own efforts.

Being associated with a microfinance program conducted by CYC Nepal, she was able to take a loan of Rs 5,000 to start her sewing business in 2004.

Now, she owns four houses of her own. Initially, she started giving tailoring classes to other girls. “My hard work and dedication has earned me this success,” Karki said.

Now she has invested her money in a local cable business and mineral water. “I have shared my tailoring skills with more than 1,000 women by organizing various training classes,” Karki said. According to her, most of the women who trained under her have started their own business and some of them have even flown abroad.  She thinks no women will have to be financially dependent on their husbands if they have skill and passion.  

Just like Karki, Kalpana Chantyal of Bongadovan is also leading an independent life.

Being associated with a microfinance program conducted by DCRDC Baglung, she took loan for her knitting and incense businesses. According to her, the incense business that she started one year ago with three other women is booming day by day. Her husband is out for foreign employment. “I have never really felt the absence of my husband for running my house as I have been doing everything on my own,” Chantyal said.

Kalpana and her team are making incense sticks with their hands since the machine stopped working due to some technical problem. “If you are really willing to do something nothing can stop you,” she said. 

Similarly, Pabitra Pun of Binhu is raising goats and pigs. Kopila Poudel of Hungdishir is running a grocery shop and a water mill on her own.

According to Chandi Prasad Sharma, chief of CYC Nepal, microfinance programs conducted by various organizations are empowering rural women. In recent days, life of rural women is not just confined to their homes. They have proved that they are no less than men in any field. “All they need is opportunity,” Sharma said. 

Ganesh Poudel of DCRDC informed that around 24,000 women in the district are associated with microfinance programs and 30% of them have engaged themselves in different businesses. CYC Nepal has invested around Rs 410 million  and DCRDC has invested around Rs 70 million for the microfinance programs.

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