The success story of Anjali Mandal




The kick for those in microfinance operations lies in watching the customers ride the cycles of prosperity. As you all know, the movement is focused on empowering women as the agents of development.

Why the women? At the cost of repetition, let us revisit the tenet. It's generally seen that women are the ones who hold the family together. At the base of the pyramid leaving below the line of poverty, the women are even more deprived. While the male gets the best, the women are necessarily left with the crumbs.

With the men being the earning members, therefore, they need the strength, therefore, they get the best that is available while the children get the second best. The women necessarily get whatever that's left after feeding the brood.

The entire strategy of alleviating poverty, therefore, is focused on women. The upscaling model finds its rationale in women being the main binder in the household. With them holding the family together they are taken as the foundation for the model to alleviate poverty.

Studies show that women are the savers and the providers in the worst of time. Yet, they suffer the double deprivation. One that naturally results from poverty and the other is the result of their sex that is largely referred to as gender discrimination in the literature.

In a situation of this nature, if the women are made financially empowered, they will act as the agents of sustainable development. They will not only act as the agents of prosperity from their micro enterprises for their families, but the model will also generate employments directly and indirectly thereby releasing a growth momentum in the environment. They will create sustainability by empowering the next generation through sending the kids to school which may otherwise not happen.

The tendency in a male-dominated society is to get the daughters married off early and induct the male children in the jobs so that the cash flow gets a boost. With empowered mothers, such debilitating trend gets bucked creating multi-faceted societal benefits. They even are breaking the job stereotypes to prove the extent development is hindered by sex discrimination.

Let us take the case of Anjali Mandal. If we talk about machine shops we hardly think of a woman as a leader. In the case of lathe shops, it's an even more no-no. Yet Anjali has fought the stereotype to set up her own lathe shop by operating one herself.

She started with one machine and mustered the strength and skill to run it. Anjali worked her way up to the second one. With two electric machines under the roof and the skill to run them, she doesn't need to wield the stick to manage the staff. With support from VFS, she is planning further growth by installing a third machine.

The point that is here to note Anjali is just an example and not an exception. Women are deemed less capable, even if there are proofs to the contrary. However, Anjalis of this world prove that we need to keep working at it and empower all Anjalis to demolish gender discrimination once and for all for a better future.

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1 comment

  1. You win the debate in the last paragraph, where you are describing an in depth understanding and innate psyche that knows what is correct and appropriate. The leader in you knows the constituency of his work. Very time less words, to summarize your work

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