BHOPAL: A meagre Rs 6,000 is not much of an amount for most of us. But it has gone a long way for at least 100 families in Harda district of the state, which has been ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, to start or rebuild their sources of livelihood. Synergy Sansthan, an NGO based at Harda, has helped them to put food on the table.
Ramniwas Jatav of Dhekhi village, in Harda district, used to grow vegetables for a living. The earnings from it were the only source of income for the six members of his family, including his wife, children and parents. The lockdown brought their business to a complete standstill. “If we did survive, it was only because we got free foodgrains from the PDS shop,” he said.
With the help of the Rs 6,000 received from the Sansthan, they are now back in business. He had also applied for a loan of Rs 10,000 under a government scheme and submitted the necessary documents, but nothing came of it.
Similarly, Bhuriya Bai of Kusiya village was running a small provisions shop in her village. Her only son used to work as a manual labourer. During the lockdown, she had to close shop and her son could not get any work. After the lockdown, she used the Rs 6,000 provided by the Sansthan to stock her shop. Now, she is able to make a decent earning and her son has also started getting work. The income is enough for them to make ends meet.
Rama Bai of the same village used the assistance to replenish the stocks of her kirana shop, which was shut for almost two months due to the lockdown. They spent their meagre savings on meeting household expenses during the lockdown. But they were left with no cash to buy stocks. “We got Rs 6,000 and that helped us restart our business,” Manish Keer, son of Rama Bai, told Free Press.
Ramhit Jatav of Dhekhi was working in a private firm at Indore. Post-lockdown, he shifted to his village, where he had no means of livelihood. With the aid of the Rs 6,000 received from the Sansthan, he started a puncture repair shop in his village.
‘When we were distributing meals to the needy during the lockdown, we discovered that many small businesses run by the villagers had shut shop. We decided to help them out with an assistance of Rs 6,000. It was a small amount and we were doubtful if it would work. We corresponded with the Azim Premji Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Delhi and they agreed to fund our endeavour. We identified 100 such families and gave them assistance. We’re happy that they’ve managed to rebuild their sources of livelihood even with this little amount. We’re sharing these success stories on social media. That would spread some positivity. The message we want to send out is that even small amounts can go a long way
— Vimal Jat, director, Synergy Sansthan, Harda