Shabeena lives in a small hamlet of Shahjahanpur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India with her family of six. A mother of three daughters and two sons, familial responsibilities weighed heavily on the mind of Shabeena. Solely, dependent on her husband’s income earned through bangle vending to run the house, Shabeena harboured dreams of running a small business of her own to supplement the family’s meagre income. Traditionally Shabeena’s family has been involved in the business of carpet weaving.
While looking for alternatives to supplement her family income, Shabeena heard about Margdarshak from local sources. The company provides handholding support to rural women in establishing sustainable livelihood options. She started her business with a basic capital loan of Rs. 10,000. The initial phase continued to be difficult for her due to lack of manpower; she had to take care of her family, household chores. However, Shabeena with her determination expanded her business and hired craftsmen to support her. Her family also helped her out with odd jobs.
Her daughters have started going to school and the family can now afford the simple pleasures of life. Shabeena is also a role model for the women in her society, many of whom are aspiring to join her business. She also wants to help her husband out by taking a bigger place so that he can start manufacturing his bangle business.
In Shabeena’s words Margdarshak has justified the name, it has not only given me financial assistance at a crucial time but also supported me in my further business plans and income. And she hopes that the company would produce more Shabeenas in the area.