Age:34 Divorced-two sons (13 and 2½) and one daughter Education:Zero years of Education,attended 3 Medical Camps Business: Fish vendor Loan: Loan for Fish Sales and two Education Loans My job was to remove shells from prawns at a nearby shrimp production factory.My rented house was overturned by the tsunami and all my belongings were washed away. The government came and gave me $95 in compensation. The Red Cross and some other organizations gave me vessels and jugs for cooking and for water. I built a small house and now I own that house, but I still have to pay Rs.100 per month as a land-rent fee. “One year after the tsunami I heard about mahasemam and I took a loan for the future of my children. My work was not steady and I needed financial support. I felt it was a protective move for my family. I used the first loan [Rs.5518] to buy the full-day catches from fishermen in my coastal community."
After Mahasemam LoanI would transport all the fish to the market and sell them to fish vendors; the vendors would then sell the fish to consumers. Sometimes I would sell the fish to consumers too. I kept working at the prawn factory in my spare hours. With the second loan Rs.16555. I was able to clear debts that I had previously taken to support my children and for daily survival. You see, fishing is seasonal and times get tough, so I had debts to pay. With the remainder I was able to invest into buying more fish. Now I built my income back up to what I had made previous to the tsunami, and the income is more dependable too. I find it difficult to pay the loans, but it is much easier than paying the money lenders, and the transactions are much nicer and less intimidating. "I am happier now. I feel confident that I can survive through the toughest times. I feel that Mahasemam is a guardian for me and my family and I feel that if I were to pass away that somehow Mahasemam would still look after my children." Even though it is difficult I have never missed a payment and I have never taken another loan to pay off the microfinance loan. I work from 4am-12 pm and then from 2pm-6pm everyday. I work hard to ensure survival. It is only me who provides for the three kids so I have to work hard.