When Sundari’s son Adarsh was sponsored through Unbound’s office in Hyderabad, India, things were difficult for the family. Not only are Sundari and her husband, Marreddy, responsible for taking care of their two children, but they also take care of their grandparents and Sundari’s aunt.
Marreddy is a farmer, but only has two acres of land with which to support all seven members of the family. Sundari is a housewife, and when her son was sponsored in 2004, she didn’t have any means of earning an income.
Now 18, Adarsh was sponsored by Cleaton and Corda from Louisiana, who remained his sponsors until he left the program last year when he starting working. Adarsh wasn’t the only one in the family who benefited from being part of Unbound. Through the program, Sundari had the opportunity to join a local support mothers group (SMG) called Pragathi Mahila Sangam, which means Women’s Progress Group.
The mothers in the group take part in a savings program. They each contribute about $1.50 a month, which is then matched by Unbound. The savings program allows members of the group to take out loans with low interest rates. Because each member has contributed to the pool, they each have a vested interest and hold each other accountable for paying back the amounts.
“The SMG members built confidence in me and encouraged me to start a small business,” Sundari said. “After one year I was eligible to take a loan from the group. I discussed it with my husband and took a loan from the group of $600 for the first time and started a flour mill. I bought machines and got electricity connections and started a business to support our family financially.”
With the additional income her flour mill made, Sundari was able to repay the first loan and soon set her eyes on expanding her business.
“I again took a loan of $600 and bought another two machines, like a wet grinder and a mill for chili powder,” she said. “… During the summer season, the business will have more demand and I will get more profit. With this I am able to earn a profit of $90 every month and lead a happy life.”
In 2014, Sundari was honored by the Hyderbad office at an event celebrating mothers. More than 8,000 women were present when she and other mothers received awards for being successful entrepreneurs.
Because of Sundari’s hard work and the encouragement she received from the mothers in her group and Unbound staff, she has gone from making no income to creating a sustainable business to support her family.
“Now we are able to educate our two children and support the family of seven members, fulfilling the needs of the family,” Sundari said. “I am very grateful to [Adarsh’s] sponsors and Unbound for giving me the opportunity to be part of the SMG program for 10 years. Being a member in the SMG, my self-esteem has developed and I am treated with due respect in society. With the help of Unbound we had the capacity to build up our family financially.”
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