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Sarvodaya Youth Organisation

ACTIVE PARTNERSHIP

Location : Telangana

Partner Since : 06-01-2017

Founder : Pallepadu Damoder


About SYO

Sarvodaya Youth Organisation (SYO) was established in the year 1993 to promote and enhance sustainable rural, tribal and urban development and to create opportunities for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sections in the community, through participatory principles. SYO believes in the empowerment of individuals, by creating opportunities for individuals to enhance their skills and abilities, so that they can independently realize their self-worth. SYO’s focus areas include education, health, sustainable agriculture, rehabilitation of child labour, awareness of consumer rights and vocational training of women and youth.

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Borrower Image
We visited the village of Vasanthapur in the Geesugonda mandal of Warangal to meet with some of our borrowers who had taken loans last year to start new livelihoods. All the women we met were farm widows, each one labouring to rebuild a life that has seen much sorrow.

Their stories were poignant, a reminder of how vulnerable women are in rural spaces and how easily their experiences are overlooked in the conversation about the country’s agrarian crisis. While listening to them speak about the challenges they faced, we could not help but admire their resilience and their ability to shoulder the burdens that their husbands themselves could not bear. We would like to share one such story of perseverance that we brought back from our visit to Vasanthapur.

Chityala Lavanya got married at the age of 16 and had barely completed four years of wedded life when her husband committed suicide. At the time, he was heavily in debt having borrowed from moneylenders and cultivated on rented land. His death was a terrible blow to Lavanya who was only 20 at the time and to his mother, who is also a farm widow.

The family has come a long way since then. Lavanya has managed to repay half of her husband’s debts by selling the land she owned and by working at a paper plate making unit that pays a monthly salary of Rs.3000. She used to roll beedis previously but has stopped ever since she took up a new livelihood.

Lavanya had been thinking of starting a small garments shop but did not have the means to do so. Later on, through Sarvodaya Youth Organisation, our partner in Warangal, she was able to apply for a microloan from Rang De at a very low rate of interest. She bought a sewing machine, fabric and iron racks with the loan money and has started earning a small but regular income.

She uses a part of her earnings to pay for her daughters’ schooling since both girls study at a private school. Since there is only one breadwinner in the family, Lavanya has no savings other than what she deposits with the SHG. Although she cannot afford to part with a single penny, she finds her savings in the SHG to be a wise investment as the group maintains a health emergency fund.

Lavanya works hard every day at different activities just for one reason – she does not want indebtedness to be a part of her children’s future. We hope that Lavanya successfully repays all outstanding debts so that she and her daughters can look forward to a better life in the years ahead.

Thank you for funding Lavanya’s loan. If you would like to help other women who are in need of an affordable loan, please click on the link.

Evaluated By : Lydia Thomas and Tanvi Negi

Borrower Image
In the month of February, we visited Warangal in Telangana and spent a few days speaking to our borrowers living in the Atmakur and Geesugonda mandals. Many of them are farm widows, resolute and hardworking women who are facing the same challenges that their husbands sought to escape through suicide.

One of those we met was Gade Sunitha, a borrower who benefitted from your contribution.

A little over a year ago, Sunitha’s loan application reached our desks in Bangalore. It read that she needed funds for a new livelihood since her husband had left her with unpaid cultivation debts that she was struggling to repay. She had exhausted all other sources of credit and desperately needed another income to cope with all the repayments. The loan was raised on our platform and within a short while, disbursed to Sunitha who was able to buy a buffalo.

We are happy to report that she sells its milk and earns approximately Rs.6000 every month. During our visit, she told us that she had repaid Rs.40000 of her husband’s debts and had another Rs.40000 remaining to deal with. A single income does not suffice and though it is difficult to manage on her own, she continues to farm on an acre of land which provides her with a seasonal income.

Now that she is earning more, Sunitha is able to meet her children’s school expenses which she previously paid for through borrowings from her SHG. We learnt that her in-laws are involved in caring for the children and pay for their health-related expenditure. However, the duty to provide for them falls to Sunitha, a task she shoulders with great love and courage.

Despite her straitened circumstances, she has not considered putting them in a government school but prefers to work extra hours to keep them in the present institution. Her hard work is paving the way for a better future for Harshitha and Varun, a journey we are glad to have played a small part in.

Evaluated By : Lydia Thomas and Tanvi Negi

Partnership Summary

Total No. of Loans 461
Total amount disbursed Rs.12,900,000
Expected repayment so far Rs.5,344,781
Amount repaid Rs.5,305,198
Amount delayed Rs.0
Amount defaulted Rs.39,583

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