This scarf is not made by hand. It’s made by ambition, on a machine, bought with savings, that was earned with profit. It’s made by going further.
Pinky Besra: “How did I start? I got a grant from Tickle Up. In the beginning I borrowed 3000 rupees. I bought a pig with that money. I sold my pig and made some profit. With that amount I started growing mustard, potato. Now I also grow pumpkin and okra.”
Sibani Hansda: “We are working hard. We grow rice, tomatoes and eggplant. And I raise goats and chickens.”
Durgamoni Mandi: “We sell our livestock to the local vendors, but we sell our crops to a wholesaler in Basantapur.”
Pinky: “I usually sell spices. But when I get vegetables at a cheaper rate, then I buy and sell those at the market.”
Durgamoni Mandi: “After making some initial losses, now we have a fair idea about the right market price. Every week we meet with our savings group. We formed the group with guidance from the Trickle Up field workers.”
Sibani Hansda: “We are 10 members in the group. We start our meeting with a prayer then we deposit our money. And then we discuss farming issues.”
Pinky: “If a member of the group is in need, she can borrow money from the group.”
Durgamoni Mandi: “If there is any trouble among group members, we help them work together and live happily.”
Pinky: “How can I fall back? I will only go ahead. Forget about the past, it will discourage us. You should look forward.”
Sibani Hansda: “Now I’m selling goats and putting that money in a bank.”
Durgamoni Mandi: “We just bought a water pump with 25,000 rupees.”
Sibani Hansda: “We grow all our own vegetables now. And we can afford fish or meat once a week.”
Sushar Besra: “Now we have everything we need. We get enough food. We can buy school books.”
Pinky: “I want to educate my sons and daughters so they can be independent.”
Sushar Besra: “My parents just bought me this mobile phone. It can play songs. But, now I need a memory card.”
Sibani Hansda: “This summer I’m starting a new business, with grass rope. I will sell them for 30 rupees per kilo.”
Pinky: “If I continue with my business and farming, I will be on top, no one can stop me!”
Poverty is isolation. It is hunger and instability. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break. That’s why we work harder. We work smarter on the plan and on the ground. We go further.
Mungli Lohar is a leader in her community. She has partnered with Trickle Up to teach women in her community how to use smartphones to lift them out of poverty.