18-12-2017 11:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Lata Kalaskar decides to rise against the odds
This is the story of a resilient woman whose life was in shambles, but instead of accepting defeat, she decides to rise against all odds and empowered herself and other women through hard work.
Lata Kalaskar was born to a farmer family in Sawanga village in Maharashtra. No sooner did she complete her eighth standard, than she was married off to a joint family.
Lata’s husband earned a meagre income by selling mumra-namkeen in the weekly market. As it was getting difficult to eke out a living with the paltry income, Lata soon started working as a daily labourer.
She was a doting mother to her two sons. Life took a cruel turn when her two year toddler became very sick and the helpless mother couldn’t afford proper medical treatment for him due to lack of sufficient money. She was devastated when her son succumbed to the illness.
Soon she left her in-laws house and her husband, and stayed separately with her elder son. She had hit rock bottom, now she had to rise. With a positive attitude, she chose to fight the odds.
With the help of a few friends, she started a self-help group. The initial 6 members saved some money from their monthly expenses, pooled their resources and managed to get a loan. Lata took her share, and with the help of her son, started selling namkeen.
As her earnings grew, so did her dreams. With the help of a ‘Self Help Group – Bank Linkage’ program launched by a leading bank exclusively for women in rural India, she was able to get a bigger loan with which she bought machines and raw materials at wholesale rates.
Soon she was able to double the production of namkeen and ventured into making new varieties of the snack. Eventually, she was able to buy a van to transport her products. Her business turned so successful that she even started selling to wholesalers in places like Mumbai and Nagpur.
Lata’s story is truly an inspiration. She now earns well, lives with her husband, and enjoys financial stability. All the women in her group are doing well too. There is a saying- ‘When opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door’. That is what exactly Lata did.