Chandana’s Story

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Life Saved and Transformed by a Peer Group of YGB’s Micro-Loan Program, West Bengal

After her Husband’s death,  Chandana, a mother to two daughters, was subjected to brutal mental and physical abuse by her in-laws. She was not permitted to enter their house soon after. One day people broke into her house in the dead of night and stole all her important documents. Without any options left she went back to her maternal home.  Without her documents, she couldn’t apply for any Government Schemes amidst the lockdown. Knowing this, the Shakti Rupini, one of 50 of YGB’s micro-loan groups started a vigorous campaign in front of Chandana’s in-laws house demanding the return of all her documents. They refused stating they knew nothing about it and turned a deaf ear to the continuous pleas of the group. Chandana’s group then headed towards the police station and lodged a missing diary.

The group tried to convince Chandana to return to her in-laws house; but she and her parents were extremely panic stricken and feared of being murdered as they knew how inhuman her in-laws are. The group then turned towards the Panchayat for help requesting the Panchayat arrange duplicate documents for Chandana. The Pradhan of the Panchayat, promptly replied that he will help her in every way possible. Soon the Panchayat arranged a Duplicate AADHAAR CARD and assured that they would also provide Chandana with PAN CARD, Ration Cards and Birth Certificates of her daughters. Making all these documents available for Chandana was indeed a massive achievement for the entire group.

Until then the most important work was not yet accomplished. Now it had become very important to arrange shelter for Chandana and her daughters who were living in a small single room house which already consisted of her parents, brothers and sisters. Nor was her father in a position to handle the added financial pressure of three new members on his small income. The group was concerned with the need to provide Chandana with an income generating opportunity so that she could maintain her household. She was involved in Biri Making work but through it she used to earn extremely less.

Chandana’s plight illustrates the strength of a group effort. Moreover, it also shows how beneficial it is for an individual to have support during a difficult time and help with overcoming an adverse or challenging situation. The best of all is the Administration too is bound to provide its helping hand. In Chandana’s case, she approached the Panchayat and the Police individually many times but was not paid any heed; but when she approached them with a group, she was given every support. We consider this to be a very big achievement and it shows us the success of a group formation.

With your support, YGB is funding 500 women, 50 groups with micro-loans despite Covid-19 lockdown and Cyclone Amphan of 2020. Join our “Gratitude Circle” for just $10 a month to empower these women’s lives. This program offers exclusive members only benefits too. Check details here