Kamla Chand was a poor agricultural laborer a decade ago, when her husband Gyan drowned. “She went to her in-laws for help to raise her two sons, but they turned her away. Fortunately, Kamla had already joined a womens’ self help group, facilitated by [IDRF partner] Arpana… and had already started saving from her daily wages… She took a loan [from the group] for a car which her elder son drives as a taxi. For the second son, she took a loan to set him up in a village shop. She also took loans for the marriages of both her sons; now both daughters-in- law are also members of SHGs. Kamla meets her own needs by selling milk from the buffalo she purchased through a loan. She has savings of Rs.40,000 in her bank account. Her courage and decade-long brave struggle have won her the respect of her entire village. The relatives who scorned her in her days of extreme poverty now come to her for advice and give her all respect” (Arpana August 2013 Newsletter).
Like many participants in IDRF’s programs, Kamla not only improved her standing and struck a blow for women’s equality, but she also empowered her family to do the same. IDRF has supported Arpana’s excellent program for almost a decade and helped it expand from 10 to over 100 villages.