Born in a very poor family, NyamongPhom was raised to fend for herself from a young age. She was married off at the age of 24 to a very poor man while still in class 8. She couldn’t continue her studies due to financial constraints. Pretty soon she had three young sons. And was living as a joint family with the aged father-in-law.
Both the spouses were uneducated and a daily labourer. Their living was extremely pathetic. It was a life of hand to mouth, with the husband earning Rs.150 and she earning Rs.50 in a day. Life was not as she dreamt. It was worse than a nightmare. Most times they would have only one square meal a day whenever the owner of the field provided them. Rice was a scarcity and whenever they ran out of Rice they would eat only Yam for dinner.
Knowing that a quality education could give their sons a good life, despite their constant hunger, they toiled daily under the scorching heat yet their combined meagre earnings was not sufficient to send them to a private school.
|Name : Nyamong
Husband name : Yimtong
Children : 3 sons
SHG name :Melangla SHG
Village : Yachem
Block : Longleng
District : Longleng
State : Nagaland
“Often in the paddy field, I would day dream of owning a small business that would generate daily income which was adequate enough to give our family 2 square meal a day, good education to my sons, a land and a house of our own” recounted Nyamong. But there was no source of income for her to start up a business.Nor could she borrow from money lender due to the exorbitant rate of interest which sometimes would shoot up as high as 20% per month. Interest itself would have drowned them. Accessing bank credit was as difficult as finding a needle in hay because they did not own enough land or valuablesto be given as mortgage. Extreme poverty zapped the happiness out of their family. With each passing year, living standard was becoming higher in the society and their earning was much more behind.
In the year 2014, National Rural Livelihood Mission Program came to their village and advocated on the benefits of coming together as SHG. Initially, she was not keen to join any group thinking that she will be of no use in the group since she is illiterate and poor. But NRLM Block staff and some SHG leaders motivated her to join the group.
Today, as member of Melangla Self Help Group, she realised that joining SHG was a turning point of her life as well as her family. Her SHG helped her to take loans with a very low interest and gave her priority. From the Revolving fund and CIF, She tooka loan of Rs.30,000/-and open a petty shop. Through the gradual income generated from the petty shop, she could finally afford to send her children to private school, build a house and shop of their own. Her living standard has improved appreciatively.
Nyamong says “Joining NSRLM SHG was a turning point of my life. I am slowly realising my daydream of the past. I believe that life will only get better with the passing years and that my life will motivate our womenfolk in the village. I am thankful to NSRLM for continuous support and love towards the rural poor women like me. For empowering us to stand on our own feet and fight for our rights”