Pushpa DishaNearly 17 years ago, when Pushpa Saini moved to Mahendragarh, Haryana from her native Mandawar in Rajasthan, she carried in her heart all the usual hopes and dreams that a newly-wed in rural India nurtures. Today, as we sit in her tiny but copious shop-cum-beauty parlour located besides the Sainipura main road, it is not hard to tell that the 36-year-old has achieved much beyond her hopes, and that too, despite her marriage.

“It has been about ten years since he left me here,” says an almost stoic Pushpa.

“Only when one is left to their own devices do we find the honest courage to achieve what we aim for,” is her next sentence, spoken almost as an afterthought.

The marriage was troubled from the very beginning. Soon after her husband left her and moved to his native Rajasthan, Pushpa found herself completely alone trying to bring up a young son. Although skilled as a beautician, circumstances and lack of resources brought this young mother on the verge of destitution and she started working as a housemaid in her landlord’s house, trying to earn a little money for survival.

It was under these circumstances that Pushpa was informed by a friend about UNDP’s DISHA project, being implemented by HPPI in this region of Haryana.

“On the first day, I attended an information session on the benefits of setting up own business. This was followed by a three-day Start-up Training covering all the fundamental aspects of running a business successfully. It was only after this training session that I saw a ray of hope for myself and my son,” she recalls.

Propelled by this ray of hope, a few days after the training session was over, Pushpa, with assistance of some her friends, decided to set up a small shop for women garments along with a beauty parlour.

“The training sessions were very helpful. It informed me about all the aspects of budgeting, presentation of goods, marketing and customer service. I will always be thankful to the DISHA project for what it has offered me,” she says.

Pushpa Disha1

Three months after starting the shop, today, after paying a rental of two thousand rupees per month for the shop, Pushpa on average saves about ten thousand rupees every month. Beyond sustenance, now she is confident of sending his son to a good engineering college.

When asked about her suggestions for other women who want to pursue their dreams and start their own business, Pushpa is quick to answer: “Confidence and self-belief is the key. Women should know that in today’s world, self-reliance is must. Start small, but dream big.”

And the small shop is but an indication that this big dreamer has only just begun her journey.

More Impact Stories from HPP's work in India

E Pic Subha

Ilam Mottukal: Helping girl students inch closer to their dreams

Subha Lakshmi is a 3rd standard student in Panchayat Union Middle School, P.M. Thevar Colony, Tuticorin. She is the eldest of the four siblings, with two younger brothers and a newborn baby sister. Subha’s parents work as daily wage laborers in a…
Sharda Disha2

Produce Locally, Buy Locally: A Woman Entrepreneur’s Mantra

“The power just went off,” says 45-year-old Sharda Devi as she opens the door to her house located on a cul de sac in Lal Wala Kuan area of Mahendragarh, Haryana; her bright smile lighting up the darkened room. Soft, regular rattling sound of a…
Kadi Sashakt

Sashakt Women for Sustainable Forest Produce

It is nearly daybreak as 28-year-old Kadi Bai sits on the slightly elevated courtyard of her house to check on the packed lunch and drinking water. Soon, her husband, Balram, and two other neighbours join her, and the four start the 10-kilometre…
Nitu Disha

Spurring Potential in Rural Women

“Be careful lest the ceiling fan drops on your head. It’s the first one he has installed so I am a little sceptical. Sit directly beneath it at your own risk,” says 32-year-old Nitu Devi referring to her husband and the fan above our heads, as wary…
Nai Disha

A bovine push to a literate future

While monsoon rains have been sparse in these parts this year and a curtailed crop yield is the hot topic of discussion in most of the Nuh district of Haryana, in a small rustic section of Malab village here, Sunita’s buffalo is the talk of the…
arti

Meet Arti, an AWC Nemmrana Student

Meet Arti, an AWC Neemrana Student “After my father’s suicide, I felt shattered and hopeless. My family’s future seemed bleek ” This could have been the end of Arti’s story but it became the beginning of a valiant struggle against her circumstances…
outofschoolgirls girleducation pooreducation

Meet Parmeena from Haryana Girls Education Center

Meet Parmeena from Haryana Girls Education Centre Parmeena, the twelve year old daughter of Akhtar and Rahisan, lives in Ghasera village of Mewat, Haryana. The belief that she has been brought up in a conservative environment was reinstated when the…
E IMG 2334

"Experience, the best teacher"

As we enter Deen Dayal Senior Secondary School in Sonipat, Haryana, the far end of the school boundary hosts an inquisitive and animated class of young students surrounding a bright, young teacher who matches their excitement withevery question he…

Aseem- A story of struggle and triumph

Aseem- A story of struggle and triumph Aseem a 9 year old vivacious boy lives with his family in slums of Chakkapur village, Gurgaon. Just like an average 9 year old he is mischievous, spirited and curious but that is where the similarities end.…
Bharti case story 1

Sunita Baberia’s Story

Sunita Baberia’s Story “We wake up before the last twinkling star gets consumed, and quickly brush our teeth. Ablutions over, it’s time for breakfast, and then onwards we march to school.” Nine-year-old Sunita Baberia sings these lines in her native…

About HPPI

Humana People to People India is a development organization registered as a not-for-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 as of 21st May 1998. It is a non-political, non-religious organization. Its mission is to unite with people in India in order to create development in the broadest sense through the implementation of the projects that aim at transferring knowledge, skills and capacity to individuals and communities who need assistance to come out of poverty and other dehumanizing conditions.

Image Gallery

GlobalGiving

Our Newsletter


Contact Us

Humana People to People India
111/9-Z, Kishangarh, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg,
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070 Tel: 011-4746-2222
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.