Lina Digal of Damiguda village is a part of the Scheduled Caste. Her husband works as a laborerm earning about 2,000 rupees (~ 29.2 USD) a month. With a five-member family, this meager income leaves the family in an extremely difficult financial situation.
Lina has been married since she was 16. Her mother-in-law and father-in-law live with the family as dependents. Their two-room house used to be part-mud and part-brick (kachcha-pacca). The family had little in the way of a kitchen.
Lina, struggling with poverty, was inspired by CARE Pathways training and when she saw a few other women of her village become successful. She discussed the possibility of starting a vegetable-growing enterprise in her kitchen garden with her husband. They wanted to start working on something with which they were familiar. Lina’s husband had some knowledge of the vegetable business so she decided this would be a good business for her family.
Lina initially sought her husband’s help to familiarize her with the skills needed for a vegetable business. Her husband was supportive, and as she started this small business she was quite successful. At first, her husband helped her, but by the second lot of vegetables, she had developed her skills and was able to manage her own garden.
Due to the large size of her family, the overall standard of living for the family has only marginally improved. Both Lina and her husband feel that their financial situation had improved only a little since they are unable to make a significant income off the kitchen garden business. More than anything, though, Lina feels that her own life changed after she started the enterprise. She could go to the market by herself and talk to anyone there, including men, for her business. Lina feels qualified and competent in basic accounting skills. Although most decisions of the family are still made by her husband, when it comes to spending money he seeks her opinion. Prior to starting the enterprise, she could not even interact confidently with women of her own village, said her husband. Now, he affirmed, her success in business has increased her confidence.
Contributed by: Tapas Das