The Best of Days India: Part 2
We hope you enjoyed looking through our last window into India! If you haven’t read our previous “Best Days of India” blog, Kelley Chisholm (Western Australia Representative) and Peta Thomas (Project Officer & Manager Cambodia) recently joined our representatives for India, M.V. and Leena Thomas, monitoring Global Development Group projects in southern India. Here’s another opportunity to take a moment and experience India together with our team . . .
Kelley describes another scene from their visit to J544N Enterprise India in Chennai, India, where women are participating in self-help groups, with the goal of building their capacity to sustain and provide for their own future…
We walk into a small room in a tiny home to interview women. They stand, arms around each other, laughing, sharing intimacies. They welcome us and we sit together. Then the stories commence. Three years ago, each woman was dependent on her husband, living a life of extreme hardship. She was isolated and poor. Then the self-help groups started in the area. Many women were desperate to join (they had seen the success for other women nearby) so this self-help group formed with 18 members. Now three years later, they are great friends—each one, a great cheerleader for another. We are led down the street and through the women’s homes to see how each one provides for her family: flower necklaces, tailoring, buying and selling saris (I’m quickly wrapped up in a sari), providing breakfast on a pushcart (fish & vegetables), making and selling soup (17 rupees—35 cents—per bowl x 300 bowls per night—a fabulous living in this part of Chennai). The women sit proudly with children and husbands by their sides.
It’s a lesson in humility, courage, opportunity…tears come easy here but they’re tears of faith, hope and wonder.