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Sandhya-Malik

Sandhya Malik

Uluberia, West Bengal

“Bandhan introduced me to the world of finances. I am now confident of planning my personal economies better.”

Sandhya Malik’s story resembles the life of many rural poor women. Belonging to a deprived family, Sandhya could not complete her education. She was married at an early age and became a mother of three soon after. Her husband, Niranjan worked as a labourer whose meagre earnings were insufficient to sustain a family of five. Since they had five goats, they opted for goat rearing as source of livelihood. To ensure that her children do not go to bed hungry, she started selling milk in the villages nearby. But, it only got tough with time. When her three sons grew up, they deserted their ageing parents. They were left to fend for themselves. They had spent all their savings, however meagre, in bringing up the sons. More than materially, the grown-up sons moving out, shattered them emotionally. Seeing the couple’s unplanned financial condition, Sandhya was identified by Shefali Mondal, an educator of Bandhan’s Financial Literacy Programme. Sandhya, just like many other women in her village, was not financially aware. She was not only unaware about financial products and facilities; she did not even have a bank account. However, as part of the programme, she started attending financial literacy forums and that introduced her to a whole new world. She learnt about the avenues for savings, she understood at length, the varied services offered by a bank and post office. She took keen interest to learn about managing finances better. She would share her learnings and insights with her husband too. Thus, empowered with financial knowledge, without any delay, both of them opened a savings bank account. They decided to regularly save, even though small amounts. Owing to her age, Sandhya had become frail and therefore unable to manage five goats, thus she sold one goat. She used that money to invest in a Fixed Deposit with the bank. She also opened a Recurring Deposit from her earlier savings. She made these investments with the hope that these will come in handy in their old age. She has taken little steps to secure her future. The couple is better off now. Sandhya certainly feels more confident than ever before; she feels financially empowered too