Citi PPAF Micro Entreprenure
Awards 2007-2008
Ms. Sahibzadi d/o Allah Bachayo

Where There is Will There is a Way

Sahibzadi d/o Allah Bachayo Sehto 24, resides at Bughio Muhallah , Bhitshah town 55 Km form Hyderabad. She was born as a normal child before she lost her both legs when stricken by a severe fever in the age of 6. Her family was poor and did not afford proper treatment. She was moved to local doctors for treatment. The vying parents paid countless visits to spiritual places for divine help to prevent disability to left leg of their beloved child. “I have passed through my childhood and grown with this disability. I have four brothers all has separate families. I live with my father and elder brother .My father has grown too old and now can not move around due to knee disorder.” faced to his sewing machine set on a cart, she rubbed her painful past moments.  “My father has always been caring to me.

I was enclosed to him. He fought for me if any one teased me with the word JaddiI – a feminine Sindhi word for feeble, vulnerable human being “. “My community members often teased at my disability. I generated hatred towards the word Jaddi- – a feminine Sindhi word for feeble, vulnerable human being. I felt disappointed, hopeless and inferior to others. Despair always hovered around my life” she described her feeling to the teasing remarks she has from others...   
“One day SAFWCO representatively visited our colony. I kept listening to the introduction of SAFWCO, their loan program products and policies. That provided me a vision. It was not about to take loans but was also to manage life. This was a life changing opportunity for me. I started to join their meetings, listened to their talks and got motivation. It influenced me a lot.” She recalls the awakening. “It was time for me to revisit myself. I now concentrated more on what I can than I cannot.” sahibzadi gloved with the maiden idea of self-consciousness. “Two she-goats were my only asset that I pilled up with the savings of family gratification I received on occasions. Besides, I had a rough idea of sewing. I easily stitched trousers but get little difficulty at belt-curving and stitching shirts. To be exact I was not perfect in sewing.”

“I met with group leaders and shown my interest in being a borrower of SAFWCO Buffalo Purchase Loan (BPL). They introduced me to SAFWCO representative who discussed with me about my business plan and approved me loan of Rs. 10,000 on 2-06-2005.” “I invested Rs.2000 form my personal savings and purchased a buffalo-calf for Rs.12, 000, and started proper management of my livestock. On the other hand I got admission in sewing centre to master this art. The centre charged me Rs.300 as monthly fees which I paid from personal savings.” Sahibzadi graduated from the centre in three months. For mastering this skill she sold one of her goats for Rs. 5000 and purchased a sewing machine. Hence she started sewing at home. Gradually her customers increased and she became able to repay loan installments from her own earnings. She procured second loan of Rs. 15,000 from SAFWCO on 19-9-2006. She invested this amount in purchase of 3 goats. She earned good profit from this business. Besides she continued sewing at home. Her cumulative savings for that year risen to Rs.20000. Third time she procured loan of Rs.18, 000 on 21-11-2007.  She invested her savings of Rs.20000 and purchased milking buffalo for Rs.38000. The milk I sold in neighborhood this earns her good profit. She pays loan installment regularly. She is quite satisfied now and happy on what she has done. She has earned equal treatment from her community member.” Now nobody calls me Jaddi. I am Sahibzadi a Darziani-Tailressfor all”. Before SAFWCO loan she had only two goats and was dependant on family gratifications. Now within three years she has one milking–buffalo, one calf and one goat to her own assets. She is now earning Rs.120 from milk selling per day. She contributes in family. Sahibzadi is sewing one cloth suit daily this earns her Rs.150. keeping the sewing orders rose in her mind she had planned to purchase 5 more machines and opened sewing skill centre for girls of colony. “I wish to see all my graduates employed in sewing”. She envisions.

Mr. Muhammad Naeem s/o Muhammad Jamil

The Story of a Successful Microentrepreneuer – A Case Study

The laborer turned wholesaler  Muhammad Naeem s/o Jamil Rajput, 36, resides at sheikh Muhallah Bhitshah town, about 55 km from Hyderabad. .Educated up to metric, he was third of his father’s four sons.

His elder brothers separated after his marriages while he along with his younger brother remained with their old parents. He would do labor work on construction sites and earned wages of Rs.80 for his labor. It was very hard for his family as well as for his survives.

Muhammad Naeem, the fifth cycle SAFWCO credit program borrower, who now lives with her two sons and wife, had only few days’ apprentice ship on his fathers pan cabin, when he applied for first loan in 2004.


“I would do go for labor in mornings and held a constant sit –in during evenings at a neighborhood shop “He recalls first contact with SAFWCO “During this time, SAFWCO credit program representatives visited there .They introduced micro credit program, products and policies that it provides credit unlike banks without collateral to the poor people in order to help them to get out from poverty.”

He saw a ray of hop in SAFWCO credit program and got convinced about his inherited skill of pan-selling .Hence he applied for Regular Monthly Loan (RML) to establish a pan cabin.

He got first loan of Rs. 6,000 in 2004. He contributed Rs.3, 600 forms his savings and rented a pan-cabin for Rs.1600 at Mela Ground Bhitshah. He started his business by investing Rs.8, 000 in purchasing pan, katha , metha masala , and chalia. His business got footing and he began reaping a good income of his investment and regularly paid his loan installments.  

He started saving Rs. 100 in a local saving committee. ”I have learnt through hard labor days that austerity is the only way of life that suits me”. Muhammad Naeem tells about his maiden learning.

Second time, in year 2005, he applied for a loan amount of Rs. 8000, from this loan he added, confectionary and bakery items to his existing stock. His business plan worked at highs.  He earned good income from his business and repaid all amount within prescribed period of time.

With a span of two years, Naeem’s pans become famous in the town and his customer increased to three folds. He purchased a larger cabin for Rs. 6,000 in the same area and turned his existing cabin into a go-down  ‘I was so happy with the vary thought of ownership. Yesterdays laborer has become today’s property owner’. He recalls the feeling he had when his income and savings translated into a maiden property ownership. 

Muhammad Naeem had now clear business expansion plan in his mind.” Few pan-cabin holders of town kept insisting me to sell them raw –katha which I used in my pans. Keeping that demand in view, I had planned to invest in katha and other pan-masalas” he outlined his expansion plans.

This expansion brought him good profit he saved enough amounts to meet expenses of his marriage that year. He also purchased a two room house for Rs.80, 000

Third time, in year 2006, he got a loan amount of Rs.10, 000. He purchased raw-katha and chalia at subsidized rate form Hyderabad. He offered it to local cabin holders on a minimal profit margin. His sales increased day by day so the number of customer. He employed his younger brother with him on cabin.

But the fate has different designs for Naeem. In September 2006, his go-down stock flooded   to dirt. The valuable stock of 6.5 Munds of pan paper; 5 bags of Chalia and 2 bags of raw-katha messed up with intruding rain water.

he hardly had recovered form that loss , when in the holy month of Ramadan same year her wife got ill for few weeks after giving  birth to a dead child. Her medical treatment cost him Rs.5,000 .

“Whatever I have earned it is fruit of my hard work. I can recover the loss with the same sprit and commitment to my business” Muhammad Naeem reacted to the losses he bore during the painful year of 2006.

Naeem reorganized himself altogether. He focused more now on his pan-cabin. With flourished business and regular savings he had never fell short to loan installments. Soon he resumed his wholesale business within few months.

Forth time, in year 2007, he got a loan amount of Rs.14000. He has now good knowledge and experience of market rates hence he purchased from Karachi Market.

“This purchase saved me Rs. 25 per kg in chalia, Rs.350 per mund on pan paper and Rs.10 per kg on raw-kathah. The quality of chalia was good and softer in chewing” he calculated the gains of his successful bargain. This   increased his profit margin considerably. He extended his supplying of raw-katha , pan-chalia and pan-paper to other cabins in the town and vicinity areas.

Forth time, in year 2008, he got a loan amount of Rs.18000. He has once again invested in the same business and have attracted considerable profit so for. He is regularly paying his installments to SAFWCO.

The story of Muhammad Naeem does not end here he now has purchased a shop for where he intends to start flour mill for his younger brother. He has flourished his business with proper planning, commitment and hard work. He plans to expand his business in other villages and towns.

His income was Rs. 3000 in year 2004 when he first applied for loan. His current income has now risen to Rs.22000.

”I have always dreamed to stand on my own. SAFWCO supported me at right time. It was SAFWCO that kept my dream alive and today I am having a good business reputation in town. My business is expanding day by day. I must say SAFWCO has made me prosperous for generations.” Thanks SAFWCO for supporting me…

Jati Fakir. It is my Story 69 years old

15 August 1947 –Rohtak railway station -an Indian state of Utter Pradesh–there was two persons looking anxiously to take the especial train which were supposed to be destiny to newly born state of Pakistan, if it’s successfully avoid all the massacres of united ruffians (the Hidhu and Sikh small groups). The one person was the matured who still have to face time given difficulties to survive in this travel and there was also a child who was confused about himself and also about the prevailing situation. But they both were facing a same situation ‘the fear of line’. After 55 years, at Tando Adam Mumtaz who was mature at the time of starting of this journey completes his travel by giving his life to its real custodian (The Almighty ALLAH).
In this travel Mumtaz opted for himself and for the child, the same profession which he claimed for his back-alike-generations ‘beggary and dancing in public and private events to celebrate their happiness and arranging two time meal for his life sustenance’. In 2006 Wasnabad colony Tando Adam a credit officer of SAFWCO CED mat a person who was a child in 15 August 1947`s journey. The credit officer showed him a probable way to beat poverty and not only he but other participants of introductory meeting of microfinance by SAFWCO. So the child of 15 August 1947 jatti faqeer has decided to change his life forever as other human being of specific gender can do with their life Jatti was a third gender candidate of life race, for which he has to face a lot of complications in life. Jatti faqeer claimed that the third gender and normal human being are alike in their structure and I am proud to be a human being said Jatti faqeer.
I had been communes for gratification on birth marriage engagements and other festivals. I’m a biradari fakir, my guruji Mumtaz took me in Pakistan in 1947 and here we attended events together till guruji was alive. After that I was the controller of all disciples of guruji, in 2006 my accesses in Hujra were abandoned I was thrown in civilization where discriminations, destitution and hatred by humans who were expert in categorization of gender, Jatti unfolded the dilemmas faced by him. There I found an orphan boy in Hujra and I took him in my company, Guruji trained him in drum (TAL TABLA). Till yet he is only my family, whatever we earned together we saved then he did marriage and now he has two sons getting education, a daughter 12 years old. After the ouster of Hujra I lost my source of survival, my disciple put a bar on my entrance into identical in profession (Biradari) events. They also confiscated musical instrument from my son. Hence, both of us become vulnerable and were not able to find any way-out; Jatti described the account of bereavements. I am a jaddi pushti fakir and I hate beggary, I don’t go in the streets for my livelihood. We fakirs have honor of being with Nobel families who preferred strict (Pardah) because we are considered as holy birth. But at the same time I knew it is a big problem for us as we had no other option of wining our bread” said Jatti.
It was not so easy for jatti to face a challenge without being properly equipped; we fakirs attend events with both voice and noise. But due to lack of finance it was probably not possible so that I requested few influential families to bestow some loan as we become capable to buy the musical instruments but I disappointed. Subsequently, someone told him about SAFWCO credit programs and he applied for first loan, he got an amount of 8000 PKR by which he bought the musical instruments, moreover they both earned respect and decent gratifications when he visited to (Biradari) identical in profession, thus they saved enough amount as well as repaid the installments with due date.  I saw a big change in my life with the satisfaction of savings, while with Guruji I never thought about savings but. This loan provided me fruitfulness and I’m conscious now about savings, I have passed almost my life but deposited nothing then dependency, if I’d wise in past then probably I could save a lot; Jatti revealed.
The conscious jatti decided to do something for the family; he engaged his grandson in a mobile shop as he become independent, my son lost his job soon additionally I was ousted from Hujra. I thought if I die then what they both will do; how they will tolerate hurdles in civilization due to my identity. That’s why I wanted they mixed up into main stream. Jatti denoted.  Jatti acquired next two loans of PKR 15000 and with PKR 20000 he purchased computers and CDs for his grandson shop. Today, this shop earns PKR 500 per a day for the survival of livelihood. Then they planned to arrange marriage ceremony of his grandson with the savings. I attend events in biraderi on special requests. I’m quite old now but my grandson’s shop is earning enough for us. I am not frightened anymore of my remaining life and the future of my family. If I’d not the support of SAFWCO probably I waste my life in dependency if SAFWCO did not recognize our abilities then why other can’t so..??? I’m very thankful of SAFWCO for providing me such a nicer opportunity; Jatti said thanks to SAFWCO…

Awards 2006-2007
Citi-PPAF Microentreprenure Awards 2006-2007
Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and the Citi– a philanthropic arm of the Citibank – jointly organized the Citi-PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards 2006/2007 ceremony in Pakistan.
The objective of the Citi-PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards program is to illustrate and promote the effective role that microfinance plays in poverty alleviation. It recognizes the extraordinary contributions that individual micro entrepreneurs have made to the economic sustainability of their families as well as their communities
Doongar Mal succeeds in his struggle for survival of life
“I got my primary education from the village Bachal Bodani some three kilo meters away from our village. And it was during these days that my father’s Chapal and shoes making shop of whole sell supplying to the various parts of the province. Suddenly my father felt lungs problem and could not move from his bed. During this I was only 14 years old and eldest of all my brothers and sisters” narrates Doongar Mal S/O Anand Ram resident of Jatia UC Jatia Taluka Shahadadpur District Sangher Sindh.“Taking the advantage of my age and inexperience the laborers (Shoe makers) did not work well and amount remaining in market also could not be recovered. Not only they worked dishonestly, but thieved the remaining stock of the shop, and I could do nothing to them. And the other thing that the most part of our income generation was now spent on my father’s treatment. This led our family to financial crisis. No one helped us, even my uncles did not help me in the crucial time of adversity, when I needed them most.” said he
When asked then how could they managed for their large family, he replied “In order to make our survival I started to work at cobbler where I got Rs.350 and my mother sewing and embroidery at home. This could hardly suffice the needs of our house hold expenditure and medicines for my ailing father, but we managed it.”
“Being the elder brother and aware regarding the education I sent my brother to school to get education. I borrowed amount of Rs.35,000 to make the marriages of sister and brothers and then returned by making saving from what we earned.” said he.

Continuing further he narrates “My brothers left me shortly after I made their marriages, leaving me with our old mother and my family. Then I left for Karachi to earn in order to pay my debt. I labored there for three years and finally all my debt was paid.”

After coming back to his village he purchased the shoe making tools from his saving to make shoes and chapels at his home, which he then sell at the local Pirris (livestock selling markets). This gave him enough for his family’s survival and he could manage for the medicines of his ailing mother. In the year 1993 in delivery of his wife their child expired before its birth and Rs.40,000 were spent on his wife’s operation, which he got on interest where had set the golden ornaments of his wife as collateral. He had to pay this with interest Rs.4,000 per month, which he could not and it increased to Rs.48,000 rupees, ultimately the gold was sold to pay the amount.

“Again fate drove us to misfortune conditions and we could hardly manage for three times meal” Said he taking the long breath. It was during this that he came to know about the SAFWCO credit program. Considering and carefully evaluating the process of loan and its policies he decided to apply for the loan, because it was without collateral and with small installments as per the loan amount.

“Although I was skilled and experienced in shoe and chapel making, at that time I had not money to purchase the desired raw material to make my products for selling to get profit. But, now this problem was solved and I borrowed Rs.5,000 rupees from SAFWCO and purchased the raw material and once again I restarted my business. Now my income generation increased and had a good survival. At the end of year I paid all the installments” he shared about the first loan.

Talking about the second loan he said that second time he applied for Rs.10,000 which he invested again the same business, where he had now enough savings. Now he also attached his son the same business and they become two souls to work.

“I purchased dowry from the some portion saving for the marriage of my daughter and paid all the installments on the due time. And affecting my running business.” said he looking around in his shop.

Then applied for Rs.15,000 for the third time, taking the advantage Police Training Center, he invested in purchasing the raw material for long Boots (For Police), where he earned a sufficient profit. And now their living standard gradually improved.

Now he had sufficient saving and opened up little ladies chaple factory in partnership with another person with an investment of Rs.47,000 which includes Rs.40,000 on his part and Rs.7,000 by his partner. The business was running well, but unfortunately some stock of worth Rs.60,000 was stolen. And they were held responsible for the losses and it was forcibly decided that he had to pay Rs.15,000 to his partner, which he gave from his already established shop. And he also paid the installments of loan from here.

Fourth time he applied for Rs.20,000 which he invested in his shop and restarted after under going the heavy losses. With the income generation from his business, he pays installments of SAFWCO loan and penalty (at losses caused theft), and runs the expenditure of house as well.

“In spite of losses and financial and family crisis from 2003 to 2007 at this time I have an investment of Rs.6,000. In addition to this I have purchased the complete dowry for the marriage of my daughter. I and my son are now working at our shop. And by the grace of lord our living has sufficiently improved. I also easily manage to pay installment of SAFWCO.” said he taking a sigh of relief.

Talking about the future planning he said “To work hard to promote my business to whole level as my father did. And to install a ladies chapel shop for my son, because he expert in making such items, but this needs at least need Rs.100,000, which I am determined to do by hard working and saving. If life accompanies I will make this dream come true. Other thing that I wish is to make marriages of daughter and son in splendid manner” says he with a confident smile.

Esa dribble poverty
“I got the primary education, but the fear of hunger was preventing me to move forward, to accomplish my dreams”. Esa S/o Suleiman, sitting on his shop’s bench, scratches his past moments. He started his struggle by a rental Tanga. He was paying half income to the owner. This job was giving him single time bread. It was not enough to feed his family. He started to save some amount daily. It was hard to manage but his vision was to spend a successful life. Very painful thing was that his family was bearing for the very basic needs. His vision and continues struggle made him able to purchase a Tanga. That gave him some better income.
One day he was on road, his Tanga got a serious accident; He was lying on the road. His leg was broken. There was no saving to bear medical expenses. One Hakim cared him, joint his breakage and advised for six month rest. Tell me how I could rest? My children were hungry? He asks very painfully. “I have to take medicines. And I was lying on the bed. This situation compelled me to go on work. After one month I started to run Tanga again. By this my leg got wrong joint. Now I am in front of you with lam leg. I have to survive; there was no option except struggle”.

At the same time he was facing, health, and education problems. There was no electricity only in his house. He was using candles for light at his home. It was too much humiliating for him in the society. His children were facing an inferiority complex and he was feeling all this very badly. He hardly managed to take connection of electricity. To overcome this expense he also took the connection of gas. It saved the extra expense for the firewood. It also saved the time of his daughter who was responsible for picking wood. Mean while the Chingchi was introduced in the market, which also affected his income. He was going back instead of getting forward.

His 17 years son died because of fever. He was not able to take better treatment for the son from the doctors of city. He lost him, only because of low income and illiteracy.

“This was a turning point in my life. In the same time I got the introduction of SAFWCO, their loan program and policy. That provided me a vision. It was not about to take loans but was also to manage life. This was a life changing opportunity for me. I started to join their meetings, listened their talks and got motivation. It influenced me allot. I gave up smoking, first time thought of a business and savings. I sold out my Tanga, got 5000/- PKR from it, applied for loan from SAFWCO. They provided me 8000/- PKR”. He states.

He also says “Hence the success was some where around me. I started my shop, got trainings on business management. Business is running very smoothly. I have expended it from time to time. I have given education to my children. My son has completed the Hafiz course. He is now in metric. My daughter is also in 10th class. We are living in our own house.

I applied again for more loan. This time, it was 10,000/- PKR. I invested it in my business; it is giving me a good profit. I am able to manage a big business now. By this loan I practiced to take wheat on low price from the field and when the market rises, I sell it on a good profit. Although it is a seasonal activity but it gives me a satisfactory income.

Next season was of cotton. This time I took 15,000/- PKR. I invested it into cotton. This initiative also gave me a reasonable profit. Hence I am able to predict market goods demand and their ups and downs. I also took the loan of 25000/- and 30000/- PKR. In the time of low rates, I purchase the products, and then sell them when the rates are high. The SAFWCO gave me 5000/- loan and I produced 500,000/- from it, if SAFWCO gives me 500,000/- I could turn it into 50, 00,000/- PKR.”

I am quite satisfied now and happy on what I have done. I can proudly speak about my struggle. I do not have to listen the harsh words from Saths. I am educating my son and daughter. Health and education are there at my home. I have learnt the importance of time and proper and in time decision making. I has a comprehensive and sustainable future plan for his business promotion and for family survival in the society.

Adversity Leads to Prosperity

A 35 years old Jam Zadi is the wife of Khameeso Khan, she is residing in the village “Bhaji Khan Rind” some 20 kilo meters away from taluka Shahdadpur on the road to Sanghar ,about 80 kilometers away from Hyderabad. Born in the house of share cropper she always assisted her family in harvesting and picking cotton. She was wedded when she was only at the age of 12 years. She was given by her parent two goats and on buffalo kid in dowry. Like most of the rural women, she gave a great helping hand to her husband at field work, and continued the making of handicrafts at her home, after getting free from house hold work. Her husband, who was ‘Munchhi’ as well at local land lord, used to remain ill, owing to this she had to work a lot at field, which she did bravely. After the long period of 14 years Jam Zadi Gave birth to boy. This brought the hope of spring in their life. But unfortunately, after seven month of son’s birth, her husband fell seriously ill, and he died before time, leaving them alone in this world, again luck did not play its role. And finally she came back to live with her parent again.

As she was still young, her parents advised her to marry again, but she refused to do so. The sudden demise of her husband and other miseries and adversities of life led her heart disease. She was brought to doctor by her parents for her treatment, when got well resumed the agriculture work and assisted her parents.

Although she is uneducated, she is extremely conscious regarding the importance of education, and has enrolled her son in school, she is also determined to make his access to higher education.

When SAFWCO makes intervention in “Bhaji Khan Rind” for community organization, she by taking opportunity got started attending meetings on regular basis. In the credit program of SAFWCO she took a loan of Rs 5000 and purchased two goats. In the period of one year, these gave birth to two kids, unfortunately one of these died, again luck did not play its role in favor of Jam Zadi, but still she kept continue her business optimistically.

Still her fortune lags behind; she felt pain again in heart, as her parent were poor, this time to meet treatment expenditure sold her goat in Rs 4000, and finally got well. After some time she again gets access to the loan of Rs 8000 and purchased two goats, on in 3000 and other in 2200 respectively and 800 rupees kept for payment of first installment on due date . Further more she spent 6800 from her saving on the repairing of her household, while paid all her installments n the due date. How ever after completing her third loan she decided to take Rs 15000 and now she purchased five heads of goats, kept the rolling in her business, which resulted in unimaginable profit. Now she keeps amount of 4000 rupees in cash, which would utilize in purchasing of goats, in order to further strengthening her running business.

She takes a long breath and said that if she would not have done hard work and lost her confidence at that time then she would never have been the owner 40000 asset which includes the goats, some handicrafts, house appliance and others. She now earns Rs 3000 per month from her business; through this she not only meets her own needs but also supports her parents as well.

Above all she would never have been able to educate her son, who is support of her old age.

She said “I am extremely happy now, because I and my son are not burden on my parent and wish to continue this business in future as well.”

You can't keep a good woman down

There are two persons inside my body in equal measure a man and a woman says 45 years old Saleemat, sitting cross-legged on a charpai with her back resting against the mud-plastered wall and her head cocked proudly to one side. Saleemat is residing in a village called Solangiabad, 12 kilometers from Shahdadpur on the road to Sanghar, about 80 kilometers from Hyderabad. Born in a sharecropper’s household, Saleemat always assisted her family in wheat harvesting and picking cotton. She wedded in teens to a man, who led her to the directionless life like most young rural men of that social class. With great forbearance she watched her man for some years, cajoling him and hoping against hope that he would see the folly of his ways. But unfortunately this did not happen and she left twice in her life. But when she came back second time she had saved the amount of Rs. 5,000 during one year time period. During all these years she had six children and four of them were reached to school ages and looking at their dark futures. In the response she opened a store to her husband in her home from half of her earning. Once again luck did not play its role and her husband throws it away every thing in the gambling. But she was not hopeless from the miracles God and started to work as daily laborer in fields. But she also did another thing; she took her husband by the collar and threatened to knock his head off if he ever went to his gambling friends again.

In her area the roasted sunflower seeds are consumed in large quantities. One day as she walked home from the fields, Saleemat paused to chat with the seed seller asked about roasted sunflower seeds, in reply he told her all about roasting them with salt and sand. At home, Saleemat was surprised to discover as she calculated the profit ratio in selling seeds. Her entrepreneurial mind worked on it and she started her business by procuring 10 kg of seeds. Now as she spent half day in fields and half day in roasting and selling it in the 100 grams packets in front of her home. She that “One kg of uncooked seeds costs 16 rupees and I can make Rs. 500 by selling 10 kg of seeds”. So it became her routine: half a day in fields and the remaining roasting and selling sunflower seeds. In 1991, Saleemat came into contact with the field staff of “Sindh Agricultural and Forestry Workers Coordinating Organization (SAFWCO)” and began to attend meetings in nearby Shahdadpur. In these meetings she learnt about saving and began to save. For the first time, she says, she learnt about saving and began putting away part of her earnings until she had respectable amount in the kitty.

By the time Saleemat came with the idea to sell potato cutlets for working women’s- a short of local fast food take away along with the roasted seeds. According to her, 100 cutlets cost about 20 rupees to make a sold at a rupee each. Recognizing her incredible talent as an entrepreneur, SAFWCO offered her a loan of 2,000 rupees. Saleemat had set up a candy store in one room of her home with that amount. During the first half of the day when her husband was at work, Saleemat would mind the counter selling sweets, paper, boiled chickpeas and sundry tidbits favored by children. Business was good and before the year was out Saleemat had not only repaid her debt to SAFWCO, her lifestyle had also improved considerably.

In 1998 she got 2nd loan of Rs. 5,000 and changed her candy store into a retail business for which she always wanted to do. For continuing this SAFWCO lent her 3rd loan of Rs. 10,000 for which she purchased a deep freezer and became the first lady in village for selling cold drinks, ice-cream, ice, gola-ganda, milk and other consuming items in her shop. Not only this; but she also enhances her business for trading wheat and cotton as well. Now she has educated her two sons up to grade 12 and rest of her children are going to school for better future.

Bhagwand Struggle of Survival

A lady with normal health status doesn’t seems to have difficult life but when she said, “I feel that I got new life”, makes us attentive towards the wrinkles of Mrs. Bhagwand w/o Shah Bux Rind of village Maqsoodo Rind some 25 kilometers away from Shahdadpur, district. She told about her struggling journey which is still continuing with same culture, tradition and specially to survive with her husband. While telling her story she went into deep dreams and tried to locate the moments of happiness from her birth in village called ‘Yaroo Rind’ of district Sanghar with her four sisters and two brothers in childhood. Her father gave her all basic facilities needed to survive. She also starts her education from her brother and also learnt the handicrafts developments with her personal interest. She was eleven (11) years old when she got married with a 25 years old Shah Bux Rind who had some bad habits of playing rummy, enjoying attending mehfils and wasting the money on unnecessary needs. This remains Bhagwand’s unfortunate her father already knew about all these things but he got her married with him on the imagination of becoming good person after marriage.

In her in-laws she started working to survive by doing handicrafts business day and night. After two years of her marriage she gives birth to a baby (female). She hopes that her husband will become fine but there were no improvements in his attitude; even his behavior goes worst. One by one she gives birth to five females in a chance to have baby boy. Besides having five babies she continued hard work and earn income for the support of her family. The mental as well as physical taurcher of her husband remained continued that she hadn’t baby boy and her in laws didn’t support her morally and financially; even once she tried to commit suicide. This was the time when her brother supported her and she decided to educate her daughters to make them self reliable and confident, besides strong opposition from the village but she didn’t stepped back. Later on; after the birth of two baby boys her husband changed his behavior and avoid giving physical touchier to her. But however he was only bearing the expenses of his sons continued remained ignoring his daughters.

SAFWCO starts intervention in ‘Masqsoodo Rind’ for community organization, she by taking the opportunity starts taking interest to attend meetings on regular basis without the permission of her husband. In the credit program of SAFWCO she took a loan of Rs. 5,000 and purchased calf. She still didn’t tell her husband regarding her business because she knew that her husband will sell out the livestock. Few years later; her husband looks at his daughters and decided to marry them without any consent from daughters or from Bhagwand. The two of her daughters to whom she give birth, cares them and make them able to survive in any atmosphere got married without her consent. However; all the expenses were bear by Bhagwand from her savings even for that she sold out the calf.

After some times she again gets access to the loan of Rs. 10,000 and starts the business of “Boo (Raw material of Agri crops of wheat)” with her brother, where she earns 50% profit. From that profit she bought “Hindora” and make kitchen for their home. Third time she decided to take loan of Rs. 15,000 and bought a Buffalo and starts the business of selling milk but unfortunately she had to sell out that buffalo after some time because of her illness. However after completing the loan amount she gets another loan of Rs. 20,000 from SAFWCO and again started the milk selling.

After having one buffalo to which she can better manage; she took a small loan of Rs. 5,000 for selling the raw material for handicrafts. She said she always wanted to be the member of Safwco microfinance program because the members of this social circle always give strength to do work.

During her survival journey she helps her daughter and approach to get the job for her as Leady Health Visitor (LHV). Now when she is successful in her business and feels herself more empower but still she afraid if her husband knows about her businesses might results in selling out the things. But behind this she is happy to cook their food at her own home, free to spent money according to her wish and easy to do checkup of her heart problem. Today her husband has a shop which he is running with the help of his son but he never faced the hurdles and problems which her wife faced.

She got a long breath and said if she didn’t do hard work and lost her confidence at that time then she would have never been the owner of Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 90,000 assets including two buffalos and its kids, handicraft things, home appliances and others. She said, “I have intended to plan to enhance my business for my son’s and have finally decided to educate my four daughters as well without knowing about their future, but she said, ‘She will try best for them”.

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