Mother Teresa once said she alone can’t change the whole world but to create ripples; she can cast a stone across the waters. Even one simple initiative on an individual level can bring yield great results and spread goodness. Let us walk you through Shantha, a woman who has sworn to help people by introducing Microfinance models in India (around in her village) through empowering people, especially women and young girls in her village. Shantha, a dynamic and firm woman from Southern India, a was born poor and married into, an even poorer family.
While the conservative society confined rural women to their homes, Shantha was left with nothing but to carve out a path of her own. Having unable to make her ends meet and support her children, Shantha made a firm resolve to make great strides not just to uplift her family but the entire community. In a country where lack of education, health and sanitation loom large over the rural landscape, there are people who are toiling hard with small endeavours to make a difference. Shantha is one among such people. This led to the journey of a humble beginning for Shantha and her rise from an individual provider to a community wide influence. Shantha, who began working as a volunteer in a government office without being paid made the best of the opportunities available.
How Shantha's Microfinance models in India works?
Shantha came across a Chennai based bag manufacturer who was in looking out for outsourcing the packaging process. Shantha bagged the right opportunity A the moment, and this led to the introduction of a microfinance model to rent a space for the work. Shantha employed as many as 25 women at the packaging unit so set up who manufactured around 5000 packages in one week. The initiative became a starting point in transforming the lives of rural women, moving beyond the stereotypes of working women and being a step closer to achieving the dream of living a life of fulfilment and freedom to attain greater heights.
In order to help women realise their potential, Shantha has enabled fellow workers to contribute to their family incomes and break free from the shackles of poverty. Shantha with her grit has been able to make a positive impact on her community, especially her son. It is only because of Shanta’s endeavours that her son was able to graduate as an engineer. It is such an endearing fact that a single voice could echo concerns of millions of individuals hailing from underprivileged backgrounds.
Microfinance model in India has a big role in women empowerment
The Microfinance models in India envisioned by Shantha then has now become a reference model for other villages. Shantha had gone beyond to advise women in the neighbouring villages and supporting illiterate women to fill out forms. She mobilised women and self help groups to open bank accounts and seek financial support for starting their own business. It is heartening to see people like Shantha, making timeless efforts to ensure that they are doing their bit for the society. Given how India is home to acute poverty where a quarter of the population is still illiterat, and the female participation of women is abysmally low, efforts like these are a waking call for everyone who wishes to be a part of the bigger and better world.
Shantha even trained people to start their own self help groups and seek support through the microfinance model. Fifteen years hence, Shantha has become a role model for every woman in the villages of India. Shantha continues to play the role of a supervisor for her first business group: that of milking cows.
What we learned from Mother Teresa?
Shantha still remembers the times when the banks did not take her initiative seriously as to fund the self help loan. It took a great deal of persuasion and determination to convince women to join self help groups and contribute towards the working of the same. Women like Shantha are living legends and are proof enough for the fact that it is possible to channelize energy even in testing circumstances. Her success has even given her a concrete shelter and strong leverage to women to provide for their families. With her micro revolution, strong determination and unwavering vigour, Shantha is a leader like no other.
"Do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person to person"