Business brings more during COVID-19

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A Story of a successful CIF beneficiary

By Rehan Ali Khushik

DADU. The story of Ms. Hoor, wife of Azeem demonstrates that women’s apparent inability to contribute family income is possible if in addition to will and efforts, the opportunity is provided of easy access to the capital. She had a dream to have a better life. Her husband hardly could bring sufficient from his rented mobile vegetable cart to feed an 8-member family.Her wife’s dream of a better life came true when she started her small businesses of flour mill at her home contributed significantly to household income. While telling the story she bluntly gives the entire credit of this change to the opportunity she availed by becoming a member of the village community organization who then provided financial support in form of CIF loan or IGGs grants according to individual investment plans of many poor households like hers. She got CIF for establishing the floor mill.

Two years ago, Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP) under the EU funded SUCCESS Programme introduced the programme as result, the 18 households of the village formed a village organization named Qabil. I was one of the members who on the basis of the individual investment plan and poverty score card result obtained cheques of 30k from LSO and established a small flour mill by investment of 45k by contributing 15k the saving of my own, said Hoor, member of VO “Qabil”.

Regarding the daily earning and business she said; initially there were only 30 inhabitants of my village who used to go nearby town for wheat-flour, and started becoming regular customers. The business brought 7-8K per month as savings. On each day About 120 Kilograms grains grinded into flour. There are 30 households in the village and they used to go to the city for purchasing the flour or grinding purpose. Due to COVID-19 lockdown they are unable to travel and purchase flour or grain from the city. This initiative also helps villagers where they spent more cost than the actual price of Flour which reduced by the cut of travel cost. Communities are taking advantage of this initiative which also reduces the time and gets away from the discomfort zone. In the current situation of lockdown in wake of covet-19, her business turnover doubles almost when the flour-mill of nearby town Aamri is closed and the people from nearby two other villages come to her flour-mill. She paid all the CIF back to LSO as per agreed installments again the second time. This time I added a small grocery shop to my business. Averagely both businesses give earnings of around 600-700 per day to me. In future I am planning for solar installation as the business suffers due to power longer breaks. She feels empowered and confident enough as her elder son studying class 8th and two children are in primary classes. Now my husband doesn’t need to go walking in the streets to sell vegetables as he also has taken a shop on rent for selling vegetables in a nearby town. She thanked TRDP and the LSO for granting CIF and making my dream come true