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Ambiya Bibi

Dhubri, Assam

“The entire financial literacy learning process has instilled a distinct sense of confidence in me. Empowered with financial wisdom, I can now foresee a secure future. I am grateful to Bandhan for making a colossal impact in my life.”

Financial constraints have been part of Ambiya Bibi’s life, since her childhood. Her father was a farmer with frugal income. These constraints and challenges continued even after marriage since she was wed off to a small-time farmer. In spite of limited means, she was living happily in her small world with her husband, son and daughter. However, her world came crashing down when her husband passed away suddenly after suffering from a heart attack. This loss left her shocked and in complete destitution, but she soon gathered herself since she had to take care of her children.

She started cultivating vegetables in a small patch of land, owned by the family. She struggled to continue educating her kids. Her son took up a job soon upon completing class X. He worked as a delivery person in a small private company in Kerala but his meagre income could not suffice for all the needs of the family. In order to support her own education, her daughter started giving tuition to other children in her locality. Owing to their misaligned finances, the family continued to struggle. Ambiya was always so preoccupied providing for her family, that she overlooked the importance of financial knowledge and planning.

Ambiya’s deplorable condition brought her to the notice of Zesmina Begum, an official of Bandhan’s Financial Literacy programme. Like many women in her community, Ambiya had no knowledge about managing finances and the critical importance of savings. She was completely unaware of the financial institutions that offered services of deposits, savings and other financial products. Consequently, she was part of the unbanked section of the society. But, it all began to change, when she was brought into the fold of the financial literacy intervention of the organisation. As she attended the various enlightening financial literacy forums, she was introduced to the much-needed skills of understanding the nuances of finance. She gained insights about savings, deposits and the financial services of the various banks and post offices. As she learnt more, she also took the imperative step of opening a bank account and began saving her money systematically. She also opened a recurring deposit.

With passing time, Ambiya became adept at organising household finances and planning the expenses accordingly. Most heartening is to note that her daughter has been able to complete her graduation. Ambiya wishes to buy a piece of land, which she can call her own and indulge in crop cultivation. There’s hope in her life now; she looks forward to a better and brighter future.