Zholezonu Richa is from Jakhama village, Phema Khel. She ismarried with 8 children, all studying except the eldest son who is employed ina private sector.
Zholezonu Richa was born to an agricultural farming family. She managed to read up to class VI but couldnot continue due to financial constraints. She helped and accompanied her parents in the field to earn some income so that her younger siblings could study.
Marriage and the start of a family proved to be a challenge since neither she nor her husband were employed. Their major source of earning is from cultivation of potato both in the terrace fields and in the jhum fields. She had a tough time managing thefamily, since there was no regular source of income. Managing the children’s school fees and daily needs was a great challenge. At that juncture, in mid2005 Anganwadi workers in her colony called her to join their Self Help Group. She was hesitant but with guidancefrom friends, she became a member of an SHG. She says being in the SHG haspersonally helped her family and helped build her leadership skills apart from moral and financial support. She says if not for the SHG, she would have beenindebted to money lenders and confined to the house without knowing what is happening in the society.
Although the SHG discontinued due to various reasons, it was when some of the members attended an NRLM sensitization program conducted by the BMMU staff at Jakhama village in November 2013 that they were motivated to form a fresh new group. She along with her other old member friends called and motivated their neighbors and friends and formed Vituolie SHG.
Today, she is confident that with the support of the NSRLM, all groups in the village and in her area will become stronger.
Keweko-ü Kapfo is a member of Wekehe SHG from Lekromi Village, Pfutsero Block under Phek District, Nagaland. Keweko-ü Kapfo is the third child of Lt. Diru Kapfo and Lhikha-üKapfo. She has two elder brothers and a younger sister. She was born andbrought up from Lekromi Village. Her parents were cultivators.
She studied till Class IIfrom the village Government Primary School and went to Pfutsero Town to pursue higher studies. However, her dream of studying could not be continued as her cultivat or parents could not afford to pay for her education. In spite of her interest in studying, she had to stay home and help her parents to support her siblings to continue their studies.
She got married at the age of 20 to Neitshüzü Kapfo from Lekromi village who is also from an agricultural background and who studied up to Class X. She is blessed with 6 children-three girls and three boys.
She and her friends came to learn about Kezuwe SHG, a group that helps others in times of difficulties. They founded a group of seven and started the Wekehe SHG with individual savings of Rs.100 each. At present, they save Rs.200 monthly.
Her SHG members go for labor wage earning in fields, work in ginger and cabbage plantations and get income from such activities.
Her SHG provided loan initially at an interest rate of 3 % per month but have reduced to 2 % per month. The mode of repayment is monthly payment of interest and later, payment of total principal at the end of the final installment.
She first took a loan of Rs. 5000 from her SHG and purchased a plot of land costing Rs.13, 000. She and her husband constructed a house in that same plot of land. She then took a loan of Rs. 5000 and purchased a plot of her uncle’s land next to her house costing Rs. 10,000. She then took a loan of Rs. 10,000 and built for her family a puccahouse with four rooms. In order to repay her loans she would ask help fromothers to allow her to cultivate potatoes, beans, cabbage and mustard leaf in addition to what she cultivates from her field. She and her husband would save her husband’s earnings for their children during such times. She has repaid all the loans she took from her group and most recently she took a loan amount ofRs. 5000 from her SHG to construct a toilet.
She has noted that apart from low-interest monetary aid received from the SHG, it is fun working in groups even when they go for labor works. There is joy in sharing with their families what they have saved, and to be able to give moral and financial support to family and friends in times of death and sickness.
She also got the experience of serving in the SHG as president and also as treasurer for two years respectively. Her experience in the Group has made her more confident andexpressive in recording documents. She also has no qualms leading services in Church.
Ajita Napen is a resident of Bamunpukhuri village, Dimapur and is a member of the Jurulai SHG. She owns a petty shop and runs a rice mill. The SHG has undertaken piggery, poultry, weaving, paddy cultivation, used garment business among others.
Ajita Napen’s story is inspirational as she is instrumental informing her group and several other groups in the village.
Ajita was born in the outskirts of Dimapur district, Bamunpukhuri village, to a very poor family and she grew up facing various challenges in life. Being the youngest of the lot amongst five siblings, she was loved dearly by all for her modesty and graceful nature. She is a literate single woman who went to a nearby government school to complete her Class X. However,unlike other privileged girls who continued their studies, she had to remain at home to look after her ageing mother. Besides, the prime reason for her inability to study further was lack of finance.
Since her schooling days, she silently envied those women who independently work for their living and she aspired to become one which was apparent in the way she carried on with determination. Life was never easy and challenges kept coming her way.
Left with not much choice, she steadily adapted the art of stirring the wheel to a path towards sustaining security. There has been no looking back since then.
Attending a workshop organized by DAN society (a catholic run NGO) proved to be a crucial turning point in her life. It was on the subject'Women empowerment and Sustainability'. She still reminisces how she joined the village folk in the 7 km walk in high spirits just to see what actually happensout there. The basics of life coping skills, importance of socio-economicaspects, and role of women in society to name a few were being impartedduring the day long sessions and this was truly an eye-opener for Ajita Napen.
Driven by passion, Ajita has almost single handedly formed several groups in her village and nearby adjoining villages. A dynamic proactivesocial campaigner, she leaves no stone unturned to finish any unfinished task.As told by a good next door neighbor, "We are delighted to having herpresence and she has always been like a warm God-sent guardian angel". With as much as 9 SHGs in her village active today, she voluntarily goes to the groups and makes sure that the opportunities and programs endorsed by NRLM under the flagship of MoRD must be taken seriously.
Life has been rewarding for Ajita; for she could taste success. She proudly owns a petty shop and a rice mill today. The word 'SHG' that stands for Self Help Group actually sounds like a revolutionary movement mantra and has made a vital impact in the vicinity where she resides. Undoubtedly, the glaring achievement of Ajita or few upcoming women like her are an inspiration to many. With a meager wage earning background in the yesteryears, today Ajita has attained multiple assets worth lakhs.