Shakuntla Devi, one of the master trainers of the financial literacy program- ‘Jaadu Ginni Ka’, and is now living a simple and happy life. She is a role model for other women of the village. However, she had a rough phase of the financial crisis. It was difficult for her to run her family with a small income. Month ends used to be a daunting phase with no money in her hand and no grain in the store. The reasons were the same, financial unawareness, unmanaged expenses and low income.
‘Jaadu Ginni Ka’, a program that creates space for basic financial planning and awareness amongst people from different walks of life like farmers, artisans, rural women, urban poor, students (15 and above). This is an inspiring story from a small village called Madauli in Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh.
‘This house was not always like this, we did not even have a proper roof. My husband used to work as a daily wager and often had arthritis pain, which made it difficult for him to work. It was very difficult for us to survive with small and irregular salary. We have one daughter and even her school fees were unaccommodating for us. However, I realized that I could not sit idle. Hence, I started tailoring at home and saving my small income. People liked my work and offered me with more and more work. In a small period, I was able to save a sufficient amount to open a provisional store for my husband.’- said Shakuntla Devi.
Shakuntla Devi says, ‘With the help of Jaadu Ginni Ka, I learnt to make more small savings by cutting down unwanted expenses. I also kept a proper record of my day-to-day expenses and it helped me to bring in more changes. I have recently got washroom built in my house with the amount I saved by maintaining a financial diary.’
Inspired by Shakuntla Devi, another woman named Munni Devi has set an example of dedication and determination. Despite being uneducated, she maintained her financial diary with the help of her children.
‘I have started maintaining my financial diary. I have also motivated and taught my family members the importance of such record. I hope that I will be able to motivate more people to follow this basic exercise’, said Munni Devi
In continuation of our achievements, we have another story from the village of Hazratpur, not very far from Madauli. Master trainer, Poonam Devi, runs a small self-help group (SHG) called ‘Durga Shakti Samooh’. Jaadu Ginni Ka trained them to manage the finances of the group more efficiently.
'With the help of training in the program, we started maintaining our financial diaries. We aimed to save 10 rupees from our daily expenses. This way, individually, we were able to save 300 rupees a month which we utilized to meet our necessities like school fees, medicines etc. With time, we started giving financial aids to our members.' said Poonam Devi.
Women like Shakuntla Devi and Munni Devi did not lack determination but awareness. Jaadu Ginni Ka will keep its legacy alive of creating impactful changes by connecting these missing links. These women did nothing extraordinary, what extraordinary was, their dedication and have set a classic example of ‘where there's a will, there's a way.’