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Asia Khatun

Darrang District, Assam

Asia says, ‘My journey from poverty to self-sufficiency has only been possible because of Bandhan. I now know what a life of dignity means.

Married at an early age of 16 to a daily wage earner, Asia faced hardships since the early days.  With two children, it was close to impossible to arrange two square meals for the family. Things only became worse when Asia’s husband suffered from severe typhoid. With the earning of the family reducing to a virtual nil, Asia was forced to take up odd jobs as a daily wage earner.  However, it wasn’t enough, and with each passing day, it only became tougher.

Asia was desperate to find a solution for her difficult situation. During this time, the staff of Bandhan’s hardcore poor programme inducted her as a beneficiary of the unique intervention. She received monetary support in the form of a grant, and set up a small grocery store. Besides the grant support, she also received consumption stipend, training on confidence building, enterprise development, market linkage and overall handholding by the staff. Soon, she was able to transform her life from being in the throes of extreme poverty, to being self-reliant.

Over a couple of years, she also initiated an alternate source of livelihood from surplus income of the grocery business. She purchased a cow and a calf, and sold the milk produced by her livestock.

Asia’s hardwork and grit is evident in the improvement she has brought about in her family. She now has a stable income; inculcated a saving habit and is also linked with various government schemes. She has been able to ensure a roof over her family’s head and education for her children.  Asia is currently a member of a Self Help Group wherein she has taken the next step to expand her business by availing a loan. From complete destitution, she has rebuilt her life financially and personally.

Asia has diligently and painstakingly changed her life. Her story has helped other women to learn to take the reins of their destinies and emancipate themselves from poverty.