In Bihar, our partner Nav Jagriti works for the poor, downtrodden, women, girls and children, poor and marginalised farmers, migrant communities, commercial sex workers, neglected and trafficked children and flood- and disaster-affected individuals in eight districts.
The social workers who work for Nav Jagriti hail from the area. They put the well-being of their community ahead of their own, working for hours together to help people in need.
Most of the credit for the success of women in the rural areas where we disburse loans goes to Impact partners like Nav Jagriti. Social workers play a key role as they provide mentorship, support and motivation for many first-time borrowers.
Manjula Ji is one such example and we would love to share with you her story.
Associated with Nav Jagriti for 18 years now, her empathy for the lives of women has been a source of inspiration and motivation.
She herself was a victim of domestic violence having been abused by her husband and in-laws for giving birth to three girls.
Not wanting her daughters to grow up in an abusive environment, she took up the responsibility of bringing her girls up with her grandparents’ support.
Manjula took up tailoring and would bicycle around 40 to 50 kms from Sitamarhi to attend tailoring training held in Chapra.
“Opportunities make all the difference,” she says.
She received training from a Delhi-based trainer on how to form self-help groups after which she was hired by Nav Jagriti.
She now lives on the Nav Jagriti campus with her kids so that she can attend work and household chores. Her oldest daughters have graduated while her third daughter in studying in 9th Std.
Her son, the youngest in their family, is now going to school.
Manjula has worked hard to earn the respect that she has today in the society. She is known among rural women in Bihar who look up to her as a source of inspiration and motivation.
Having faced a lot of problems in the early years of her marriage, Manjula is glad that things have settled down for her family.
Manjula adds a human element to everything she does. The borrower selection process for Rang De loans at Nav Jagriti is usually done after taking her opinion and her suggestions regarding borrower selection are seldom ignored.
“My in-laws respect me now not because I have a son but because I am a working woman in the village and everyone appreciates it,” she concluded.
Manjula is living proof that grit is all that is required for achieving success in life in rural India. Women who stand up on their own feet do get the respect and recognition even in patriarchal societies.
Rang De is transitioning from a charitable trust to a Non Banking Financial Company. Check out our brand new peer-to-peer lending platform rangde.in