Musahar Sustainable Development Project

Mrs. Draupadi Devi from Musahar community lives with her husband and four children in Dahita village of Motihari district, Bihar. The Musahars are landless community who work in the fields of landlords for their survival. Due to the caste system prevalent in their community they face constant oppression from higher castes. In addition to their poverty, alcohol addiction is the menace of their community which also led them to borrow money from landlords at high rate of interest.Untitled.3

After her marriage, Mrs. Draupadi had a dream to take a step forward and break the cycle of oppression that includes untouchability in her village. But she did not have any idea of how to engage herself differently from her traditional labour work which was the only source of survival  for the family too.

Mrs. Draupati managed to open a petty shop – but had to close it down due to losses as people began to borrow and did not repay back. Her husband, being a drunkard, also did not support to fulfill her dreams. In the year 2014, EFICOR formed a Gramin Musahar Vikas Samiti (GMVS) in her village. She became a part of GMVS and also an active member of Champa Self Help Group in the village which was the turning point of her life. Being a part of various Community Based Organisations (CBOs) she was groomed as an effective motivator to facilitate and make use of the savings and revolving fund to start a small scale business in her SHG. Being an illiterate she was instrumental in starting an adult literacy centre in the village with the help of EFICOR and she regularly attended the classes and learnt basic alphabets, arithmetic and book keeping skills. She was selected by her SHG members unanimously as the secretary of the ten-member group. Her vibrant leadership skills led her to open a bank account where Rs.15000/- of initial deposit was made by the group. The revolving fund as well as loan availed from the bank were helpful to each of its members to start some small scale business and also use the money for fulfilling the immediate needs of their families such as marriage, treatment etc. The group also supported a person with disability and also extended a small contribution to the disaster victims. She also motivated the group members to undergo candle making training and the group began the IGP of candle making and is supplying to the local market.Untitled.1

Mrs. Draupati’s active involvement for the welfare of the community could bring transformational changes such as prohibition on production of alcohol among the community, sustainable income to her SHG members, etc. She is the first Musahar woman to become a non-teaching staff in a nearby high school; she earns Rs. 3000 per month and hopes for a better future. She remains grateful to the Musahar Sustainable Development Project and EFICOR for building her confidence and creating opportunities to serve her community and even support her family in a dignified manner.

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