Mar 16, 2021 – Mrs. V. Usha comes from a poor family in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. She started her working life early as a door-to-door housekeeper and a hotel cleaner. At times her family struggled to afford the 4 dollars monthly rent for their house.

In 2006 she joined a self-help group and through the group took a loan from ECLOF over 70 dollars. With the money she set up an ambulant business selling gold-plated jewelry in her neighborhood. Later she expanded to selling fabrics she bought wholesale in Chennai.

The business went well and she earned a steady income over the years. When the Covid pandemic hit in 2020, the lock-down measures meant that she was unable to operate from March to August. Left with no income at all, she relied on her husband’s and children’s salaries.

When the time came to reopen, she needed to find a way to quickly generate revenue. She got another loan from ECLOF in September 2020 that she used to rent a store and start selling Covid 19 safety gear like masks, disinfectants and gloves. Demand was high in the market, and she was able to recover financially through the sale of these new products additionally to jewelry and fabrics.

It is with tears in her eyes that Mrs. Usha recounts that her hard work, coupled with support from ECLOF India, has taken her from being a door-to-door housekeeper to an independent entrepreneur. She feels that education is the most important asset parents can give to their children. She is proud of having been able to grant it to her two children who today occupy good positions in society. A few years ago, she was also able to buy a house. She has the support of her family members to run her business and she is grateful for the standard of living they have reached and their harmonious family life.