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                           Seamstress (Aparna Hazarika)

Aparna Hazarika, a very vibrant housewife-turned-entrepreneur, is a client of our Bamunimadam branch. She is in her early 40s and lives with her family comprising of her husband and two children. Her husband who was the only earning member of the family was working as contractor for a brick kiln through which he earned ` 10,000/- p.m. As bad luck would have it, her husband met with a major accident in the year 2007 due to which his right leg was injured and the income source was crippled. It therefore was essential that Aparna looks for avenues to take up some income generating activity since she had to shoulder the responsibility of not only running the family but also provide medical aid to her ailing husband and bring him back to normal.

Aparna, like many other Assamese women, had expertise in weaving and intended to use this trait to generate income. However, paucity of funds had come her way to start the business. It was then, in the year 2007, she had come to know that RGVN(NE)MFL through its branch at Bamunimaidam, extends micro-credit to the poor population in the area to take up income generating activities. She immediately approached the Branch Manager and joined a JLG group and availed the first cycle loan of ` 10,000/- to start her business. The financial discipline maintained by Aparna in repaying the loan instalments, made her eligible for the subsequent loans and the entrepreneurial skills graduated her to avail ME loans worth ` 50,000/- now.

Ms. Hazarika’s flair to weave, gave her the opportunity to be selected under the ‘Employment Generation Scheme’ of the Govt. of Assam implemented by RGVN(NE)MFL through which she had learnt the nitty gritties of the trade including preparation of project proposals, book-keeping, marketing of enterprises etc.

During her journey with RGVN(NE)MFL, Aparna who started from scratch, had purchased seven looms through which she weaves mekhala chadar [an Assamese traditional wear of women], salwar & dupatta material, gamocha [towel used by the Assamese] and curtain material and all her products are woven out of cotton thread only. Although initially she had sold the end-product in the close-by markets in Guwahati, with many clients under her fold, she now sends the woven goods to Sivasagar, Golaghat, Jorhat and Tezpur. She utilizes the bus services to ferry her wares and in view of the demand, does not go for the door-to-door sales.

This RGVN(NE)MFL’s intervention had impacted the life of Aparna in many ways. On the personal front [a] she has been able to enhance her monthly income from ` 5,000/- p.m initially to ` 20,000/- p.m. net income after all expenses related to business at present; [b] her wards are able to get better education;[c] renovate and extend her household; [d] save ` 5,000/- p.m, [d] purchased a two-wheeler which facilitates mobility while in the business front [1] she has been able to employ 9 workers who are paid @ ` 4,000/- p.m; [2] procure new looms with repeat assistance; [3] train more women so that they master in the weaving trade and [4] extended her business arm in Tezpur with two looms. Other than this, Aparna has sponsored two young girls aged 16 of 12 years who hail from very poor families and ensures that these children develop into an educated entrepreneur in the future. And, through her persistent desire to move up the ladder, she is already being recognized by the community for the good work and is an inspiration to many such housewives with similar motives.

A beaming Aparna has dreams of expanding her business into all prospective pockets of Assam, especially the uncovered parts of Tezpur and says “I always consider RGVN(NE)MFL next to God since this organization has given me the platform to bring to fore my inherent talents and all that I have today owes to the organization”.