Gaural ben started earning at an age where the majority of the women start planning to retire. “When it is about a crisis, how can I think about age!” she mentions. Her sons, now grown and married, are supporting with whatever they can, but Gaural ben couldn’t be dependent on her sons. She started engaging with multiple activities. She began stitching, something she had learnt by watching her mother do during her childhood days. She even did casual labour, worked as a cook and basically took up whatever job came her way. The covid induced lockdown turned their lives completely upside down. Her sons lost their jobs, she didn’t have any work to do. Her earnings fell to less than 50 percent of what she used to earn during the pre-covid period. She and her family have been thankful to the bank sathi who had introduced them to SEWA Bank and linked them to financial literacy training. It is through these training she was able to identify where she is making unnecessary expenses and even got a safe space to make regular savings. SEWA Bank provided her with a loan of INR 40,000 through which she was able to purchase a stock of sarees and the raw materials that is required for her tailoring work. She aims to earn at least INR 2000-3000 more than what she used to earn during the pre-covid period.
While the loan application was in process, Gaural ben expressed her doubts about being able to do business all by her own to the bank sathi who is now like a friend to her. The bank sathi got her enrolled to the Entrepreneurship Development Training at the bank under the Udyami programme. She aims to learn about all the skills required to do business like customer management, financial management of a business, bargaining with the suppliers and more.