Name : Chirmabalam Chellamma
Location : Pottuvil
Chirmabalam Chellamma, from Inspector Etham, has five children, among whom she is the third daughter. Manjula belongs to a very poor family. Her father used to support the family by working as a laborer. However, during the ethnic riots in the ’90s, both her father and brother disappeared, marking a significant disaster for them. Following this, her mother worked as a wage earner and managed to raise and educate all four children to a basic level of education. However, due to a lack of facilities to advance their education, despite their academic abilities, their schooling was interrupted.
Subsequently, Manjula’s sisters got married. Understanding her family’s situation, Manjula had to relinquish many of her dreams and got married at the age of 19. Her husband, Ravichandran, is also a laborer, and they have three children together. Despite facing numerous challenges and living with minimal income, they persevered. However, their financial situation changed when:
- Ms. Manjula learned about the Swat organization.
- She joined the SWOAD organization on 31.05.2009.
- Managing the group effectively, Manjula was appointed as the group leader by its members for a certain period.
Upon learning about her situation, the organization took steps to help her become self-employed, providing her with a chili grinding machine for free.
- With the chili grinding machine, she started earning income.
- To further increase her income, she took a loan of Rs. 40,000.00 from the organization on 23.03.2011 and initiated poultry farming, which also proved successful. This marked a turning point in their lives.
Amidst the confusion of managing family expenses and in discussions led by Mr. Senthuraja Iya, Coordinator of SWOAD, Ms. Manjula actively participated. Implementing the ideas presented, she ensured her children’s education, and her involvement in social activities reflected her commitment to both her career and her children’s studies. Before taking any loans, she carefully considered the advice provided by the organization.
Currently, Manjula is engaged in various self-employed ventures, including chili grinding, flour grinding, poultry farming, cattle rearing, and selling stone carvings. Through these endeavors, she earns more than Rs. 200,000.00 per month. Additionally, she mentioned that she is investing the income from the chili machine into buying a flour milling machine, further expanding her business.
Presently, as she envisioned, two of her three children are studying at the university. She joyfully expressed that one of them is pursuing higher education, attributing this success to her dedicated efforts.