posted by Alexandra Shaw, ACCION International
This February, I traveled to Bihar in India to interview clients of Saija Finance, an ACCION partner microfinance institution. The people I met ranged from women fish sellers who started work at 4 a.m. to men who pedaled wagons loaded with luggage 30 kms a day. All worked hard, determined to improve their lives and create a brighter future for their children. And each was succeeding with a little help from microfinance. In this video clip, Asha Devi and Sushma Devi, clients of Saija, talk about their mosquito net and dairy businesses and the difference that access to financial services has made in their lives.
In the second week of my trip to India, I visited clients of Swadhaar FinServe, an ACCION partner in Mumbai. My goal was to re-interview some of the people whom ACCION had met two years ago, to see how they had fared with their loans and businesses since then. Sangita Achrekar, papad maker, was my first stop. Two years ago, Sangita had withdrawn a small loan from Swadhaar to buy more raw materials to make and sell more papads. Her business is expanding thanks to ongoing support from Swadhaar. Here is a short clip of my walk with two loan officers into the Kerwadi slum where Sangita lives and runs her papad business. Nearby on my walk, locals blasted music in preparation for a marriage. Enjoy the sound!