Case Stories About Project: Garima
“Creating Sustainable Dignified Livelihood”
Introduction: Project Garima looks through the lives of several such families who were left without livelihood options due to Covid lockdowns, disabilities and illnesses. Leading a dignified life is a basic human right and hence Project “Garima: aims to Create sustainable Dignified Livelihood, for these families.
Here are the stories of the families we have helped in setting up sustainable livelihood options, so that they could lead a dignified life.
Title: “Overpowering Disability”
Raju, 22-year-old, resident of Moti Nagar area of Hyderabad, has been suffering with Polio (poliomyelitis) since he was 4 years old. His lower body, both legs have been rendered paralyzed due to the poliovirus, he has led a life with this permanent disability and yet catered to a family of 4 members. Raju has an aging mother and father and two sisters. Pre covid he used to work at flower shops outside a temple, earning a daily wage of INR 150. However, during covid, he lost all sources of temporary income.
He never got a chance to study, read or write and hence he aspires to educate his sister.
Weakened by a physical disability, he has a strong will power and a uniquely positive spirit, and is motivated towards creating a dignified livelihood. Since he had in the past worked as a daily wage worker for flower shop owners, he wanted to start his own business of flowers.
How we helped:
Through our initiative “Garima”, we raised funds, to provide him a four-wheel cart that he could use to sell flowers. This gave him the initial support required to set him up as a flower vendor.
Raju now is an independent vendor; you can meet him outside a temple in Moti Nagar area of Hyderabad. He crawls up his street cart and sells flowers and sometimes even fruits. He has improved his income from a mere INR 150 to INR 800 a day and is ever smiling and hopeful of expanding his business, through his self-generated income. He has also enrolled his sister in a nearby college.
His story stands out, for he did not let his disability push him into a corner of begging or helplessness. He believes that with determination and hard work, dreams can gain ground, We believe he truly is brings GARIMA to humanity.
Title: “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”
“Change is the only constant” in life. Just when things seem to be going fine, life throws a surprise at us, that challenges the best of us, to bounce back and learn to live.
Nagamani, a mother of three kids,3 and 9 year old daughter, and 5 year old son, had a simple contended life. Her husband used to work at a flex printing shop, while she was a housewife. In 2016 he was diagnosed with a kidney failure and had to deal with diet restrictions. However it dint end there, within few months, his second kidney was also declared nonfunctional. This meant he needed dialysis once in two days. This medical uncertainty along with COVID lockdowns was a huge hit for this family, for which he was the sole bread earner.
We met Nagmani during our survey of the below poverty line area, she had brought her home stove and was making jowar rotis on the road.
Upon conversation we learnt about her situation and her spirit to stand up for her family with dignity.
How we helped:
Through project Garima, we provided her with a wooden table, a double burner stove, a steel casserole, a jug and a basin, as the basic utensils needed for her stall. We also provided her with 35 Kg of Jowar,10Kg Ragi and 10Kg Bajra to start her business of rotis and papads.
From zero income, to INR 800 a day, today Nagmani runs an independent business of Jowar, Bajra and Ragi millet rotis, across a busy street of Moti Nagar market. She takes care of her husband’s treatment and all three kids’ study at a government school.
She aspires to start a home run business of rotis and sundried papads and we would love to spread the word about her healthy and delicious millet rotis….
This housewife turned entrepreneur indeed is an example of when the going gets tough the tough gets going. Her will to work hard under any circumstance has today made her the hero for so many uneducated women in that area.
Title: “Surviving across all odds”
“Disability is a matter of perception, if you can do just one thing well, you are needed by someone.”-Martina Navratilova
A blind family of 4, is leading a life with extremely limited resources. With no structured source of income, and a disability of vision, they strike a livelihood through another talent, that hasn’t seen the right avenue. Music!
The head of the family has been earning a living though singing in small events, and even on the road. He managed to teach his children and all three adults (2 men and one lady) have finished their degree. Though educated, they haven’t been able to find the right source of income, for themselves.
The family is talented in different musical instruments. They can play violin, rhythm pad, and sing very well. They are called by neighborhood for small events and sometimes they sing on the road to gain some livelihood.
How You can help:
This family needs a Sound box, a speaker and mic system, so that they can perform better and expand their livelihood to more structured singing. The family Is also open for other sources of employment, that can be taken through some vocational training.
You could help this family, gain a livelihood, by supporting their musical talent and aspirations. With the right equipment, they can make themselves more visible in the local community, get more orders to perform and even reach out on social media, instead of singing on the streets.
With your support their musical talent can bring GARIMA ( a sustainable, dignified livelihood) for them and for humanity.
“We often don’t have all answers”
Ramesh belongs to the Kottaguda district of Hyderabad and has a family with wife and 2 children. He worked as a driver of an ambulance and led a simple, yet dignified life. However his world changed in 2016, after he met with a life threatening dangerous road accident while he was driving the ambulance with a patient in it, rushing to save a life. In that accident Ramesh lost both his legs, he had to be amputated, due to the severe damage to his legs.
Life was never the same, Ramesh was bed ridden from that day and lost all sources of employment. He now needs to rest on a water bed and has to be lifted by his family, in order to move him. His water bed is an additional expenditure for the family and needs to be changed every 2 months.
Ramesh’s wife has been running a small store from her house, where she sells milk packets etc. However, they are struggling to keep up with their needs and survive during the current times.
How You can help:
This family needs a support, in establishing a grocery story or a general store, where they can meet the needs of their village and also earn a living. They feel through this general store, they will be able to generate income and also provide employment to Ramesh, who can sit and monitor the store. This would give him a purpose to live. We request you whole hearted support in helping Ramesh set up a general store and generate a dignified livelihood for himself.
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop”
Anil is a 20-year-old young adult, he was born with a mental health condition, down syndrome. Anil lives with his mother and grandmother in the village area of Kottaguda. It’s difficult for his mom to manage him alone, since he does not have a father or any family support. She has been a strong woman and farms on a small piece of land. She does onion farming and maintains livelihood for his family.
Anil needs help to be sent to a special school, so that he can read and write, he needs support in learning a vocational skill, like printing, carpentry or using factory tools, so that he can earn a living for himself in future.
How You can help:
Anils mom needs your help to buy a push cart, so that she can sell onions in the near by districts as well and can take them to the farmers markets for sale. With a push cart Anils mom will get the support and mobility she needs to move her farm produce, out in the market. This help, will provide her with a sustainable source of income, that she can use in multiple ways .
If one family helps only one more family: we will have a sustainable, dignified life for all and that would be true GARIMA of humanity.