Small E IMG 313122-year-old Mamta Devi of Rajgarh tehsil in Rajasthan is fidgety as she sits on the charpoy, next to her husband, clutching her one-year-old daughter nervously with both her hands. She has good reasons to be anxious. After all, women sitting next to their husbands is not a common sight in this part of the rural hinterland, and the social admonishment – in case an elder catches the spectacle – is prolonged and agonizing.
No sooner she hears the shutter go off, she is back on her feet, just as quickly as she had sat down. With the photograph through, the young mother of two heaves a sigh of relief followed by an impish giggle.

“It being high noon, all the elders must be taking a nap,” she says from behind the smile.
This timid, acquiescent portrait of Mamta, however, stands in stark contrast to her personality when she leads her Self Help Group (SHG) of 15 members into various financial literacy sessions conducted under the CRISIL Foundation’s Mein Pragati programme.
“Before the programme launched here, none of us were aware of any of the Government schemes designed specifically for women. Very few of us had bank accounts under our name, let alone an insurance scheme,” says Mamta.
“The programme has come to us as not just a pleasant surprise, but a much needed one.”
Mamta’s husband works in and around their village as a daily wage labourer. The limited income that the occupation generates has been beset by the construction industry’s seasonal pattern in this part of the state and a growing family. Most construction work ceases during the monsoon and, consequently, savings quickly evaporate.
“Most of us kept the money at home in order to have ready access to it in the time of need. Besides, there was a lack of trust in the banks and the formality of filling up forms was a big deterrent for all of us. But with the Government’s direct credit schemes and zero-balance accounts, most of the village residents were lured into opening an account,” says Mamta.
“We saw reason in it only with the launch of the Mein Pragati programme being implemented by Humana People to People India in our village.
CRISIL Mitras informed us about the significance of maintaining a budget diary and very soon we were able to see the impact it had on our savings. All of us in the SHG have an active bank account now and are availing one or the other insurance scheme,” she adds with a hint of pride.
Mamta is one of the many women finding her voice through an unprecedented financial decision-making ability with the Mein Pragati programme. As a village elder passes us on his rickety bicycle, Mamta is quick to pull an end of her sari to cover her face.
“Almost all of us in the village with a girl child, including me, have also opened a bank account under the Sukanya scheme. By the time she’s married, I’m sure you’ll be able to click her picture sitting next to her husband without much trouble,” she adds with a smile.

More Impact Stories from HPP's work in India

Rukmini Sashakt

Sashakt: Creating Choices, Emboldening Voices

These days, a repetitive “kuk kuk kuk” sound mostly welcomes the visitors as they enter Rukmini Bai’s gracefully minimal, earth-made house in Sanwadi village of Sheopur district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. One may also enter the…

Children, planet and green cover!

Children, planet and green cover! Climate change mitigation together with the students Anjali, a second year Necessary Teacher Training Programme (NeTT) student at District Institute of Education and Training (D.I.E.T.) Beeswa Meel, Sonepat is a…
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…
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…
E IMG 4528

Socially conscious with Ilam Mottukal Programme

Amidst the usual din of learning at the Academic Support Centre (ASC) at TNDTA school, an animated young student is busy feverishly explaining and engaging members of her class group in a discussion on the functions of different body parts. Her…
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…
Pooja DIsha

Of A Teacher and An Entrepreneur

It is around four in the afternoon and a group of young students hastily rush into 26-year-old Pooja Kaushik’s house in Nayagaon area of Faridabad, Haryana. A small, colourfully decorated chart paper outside the house proclaims that tuition classes…
Archana Sashakt2

Ushering in A Wave of Transformation

Just a day before we met Archana at her house in Sanwadi village in Sheopur district of MP, her village had witnessed a spectacle of an event that the village residents were still talking about amidst peals of laughter. “Yesterday, the men of our…
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…
Archana Disha

Towards A News Era of Financial Freedom

“I will call you later. Some people from the project office are here,” says 34-year-old Archana Devi as she hangs up the phone. “That was a friend. I have invited her to join the incense packing work. She is a widow with two kids and needs work.…

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


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.