Small loans making big impacts in India

Summiya lives with her husband and two sons in a remote village in West Bengal. During the early years of their family, they struggled to put food on the table.

Summiya said it was “utter poverty that was slowly destroying our home and tearing the family apart.”

UnitingWorld, in partnership with the Church of North India (CNI), help women like Summiya to become economically self-sufficient by providing funds and education through community self-help groups.

Summiya joined a self-help group and was shown how to get the most benefit out of her membership. She was also taught how to access fair loans from local banks and use them to start small businesses to increase her income.

Summiya took a loan and used it to buy a piglet. After seven months she sold the pig for a good profit. She deposited the majority of her profit in her new bank account and bought more piglets with the remaining money. Gradually, she started making better profits and leased a small plot of land with her savings. Eventually, she earned enough to buy the family two bulls to help plough their field.

Today, Summiya’s children are in school and her family is no longer living in poverty.

“So many women now are proud owners of their micro-businesses and are independent entrepreneurs in their own right,” says the local CNI Project Coordinator.

“In the process, they become less dependent on their husbands for money, less likely to approach unscrupulous money-lenders and less likely to take exploitative low-income jobs to feed their families.”

UnitingWorld is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Summiya and her two bulls
Summiya and her two bulls.
Photo credit: Nita Pyne

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