Empowering Women to Battle Extreme Poverty: Sangita Dhawal's Story

Empowering Women to Battle Extreme Poverty: Sangita Dhawal's Story

My name is Sangita Dhawal. I live in Badahara Dubauliya VDC of Nawalparasi district.trict. Three years ago I was a new bride of my house and I was not allowed me to go out from my home. One day a change agent of CARE Nepal SAMANATA Project (2007 to 2009), Dhrub Narayan Harijan, came to our ward and organized a meeting of women for the purpose of saving. I was very interested to participate in the meeting. I requested and convinced my husband and father in-law to let me participate. Thankfully they agreed and I was able to be a part of the savings group where I started to save Rs. 5 per month. After that I became habitual of saving. Our women’s savings group converted into a cooperative in September 2012 which was named Saino Saving and Credit Cooperative Organization Ltd. I became secretary of this cooperative and then I started to save Rs.50 per month. But I had to beg my husband for the money do that I could save it.

Realizing my situation, our cooperative manager informed me to go for 7 days residential sewing training organized by Legal Aid and Research Centre (LARC) in coordination with Usha Silai International. I successfully participated in the training and learnt 10 items of sewing. After the training I started to sew clothes in my house itself. Then in May 2014, SAEENO project provided me an opportunity to participate in market exposure visit to Janakpur and Hetauda. Inspired from this visit, I started to think creatively to upscale my existing business. I collected raw materials for ladies bag and designed two sample bags which is highly preferred in the local market. I have plan to start ladies bag, mobile cover and other saleable items sewing and marketing business.

Now I am earning Rs. 250 to Rs. 300 every day.  I grew my saving rate from Rs. 50 to Rs. 200 per month in the cooperative. I even pay Rs. 300 every month for my children’s school fee and I save Rs. 200 in two more groups in my village. With my income I was also able to open a small retail shop where I earn Rs. 2000 to Rs 2500 per month. Now all my family members respect me and support me in my business. Not only that but now I am recognized and respected in the society as well. My future plan is to become sewing trainer and I hope to accomplish that soon.