Chanda Kawar’s Inspiring Tale: From Housewife to a Business Owner

Chanda Kawar is a 35-year-old woman from Lasani cluster, Devgarh, Rajasthan. Her family comprises her husband, two children and mother in law. Chanda has studied till 12th standard. Her husband was an alcoholic and had no job and income. In such a scenario, it was becoming tough for Chanda to manage household expenses and raise her two children. She used to work under MGNREGA, with which she earned a meagre Rs. 1000 every month. It was during these tough times that Chanda got to know about LDF-Rajeevika collaboration and SHG concept and decided to join the program.

LDF Cluster manager made her understand the concept of SHG and how it can help her earn a regular income. She joined a SHG with hope of a better future. She says "five fingers form a fist and every one of them is equally important". Understanding the importance of her contribution for the SHG, she turned into a dynamic individual with support of other members and also inspired other women to follow in her footsteps. After joining the SHG, Chanda used her first credit of Rs. 50,000 (in May 2017) to open a Rajpooti Paridhan (garment) shop. She had identified the need as there was no such shop in the region. With her shop, she filled a gap in the market, and earned her a decent profit. With her first achievement, she was inspired to improve further. She followed it by expanding in clothing items with two more loans of Rs. 25,000 in September 2017 and Rs. 40,000 in December 2017. With a little training and lot of interest she also serves as Krishi Sakhi in Lasani cluster.

Challenges faced​

Chanda has two young children who are studying in school. Raising them and managing a new business venture at the same time was very tough for her. Also, Chanda’s husband, being an alcoholic, wasn’t of much help to her and even opposed her decision of opening her own garment shop. But despite all odds and with support from her fellow SHG members, Chanda turned her dreams into reality and opened her own garment shop.

She says that her life has changed for the better after joining the SHG. With financial stability, she can make her own choices and live a respectful life. As they say success breeds success...inspired by Chanda’s success, her husband also started a cold drink shop and general store at the village bus stand which is now adding to the family’s income. Now, Chanda and her husband can guarantee good education for their two children. While initially Chanda’s family income was Rs. 2000, it has now increased to Rs. 30,000.

Chanda wishes to expand her business by taking an additional loan of Rs. 50,000. She also wants to explore the possibility of opening a beauty parlour in her village. Chanda also helps other women who regularly visit her to learn about her success story. As she says she doesn’t want others to suffer in poverty.