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Taking Charge of life

Dinobala Ray is from a village called Poshim Enchorbari in Sidli block. She was married at avery young age of 17. Her husband was an alcoholic and never contributed financially towards their day to day life including education for their children. Dinobala is a class 8 dropout. Her husband sold their lands to the money lenders at cheap rates and she was left with only 3 bighas of land.The life of Dinobala Ray and their children became miserable after the sudden death of her husband. She worked day and night to earn their living and did wage earning to sustain her children’s education. By 2014-15 she used to run a small roadside food stall selling papad, pakora and other items in Kodomtola. In 2012, she came to know about the SHG. The idea of SHG fascinated her. She further enquired to join it. But unfortunately, she didn’t have the required money to be paid each month to renew the membership. But one evening she heard about SeSTA whose ideas impressed her and further inspired her to form a SHG. She went on to conduct many meetings and soon formed a SHG within the locality named Junali. After that they wanted to open a joint account, but no bank was willing to do so. At last Pragjyotish Gaonnlia Bank accepted their request.After forming the SHG she took a loan and modified their roadside stall which ultimately gave opportunity for her children to study. She was nominated by her SHG to work as a Community Resource Person (CRP) and has received various training on SHG promotion & strengthening, livelihood promotions, family based livelihood planning, training on Vermibed installation, SRI technique on paddy and Vegetables, Organic fertilizers and disease pest management trainings. She is known for her work in her locality, she is also called from nearby villages, Dantola and Tangabari to form SHGs and also invited by NRLM for doing livelihood planning.

She went through many struggles to make people aware about the SRI method of rice cultivation. The people believed the SRI is a technique developed for cultivation in Punjab and it is not suitable for Assam. She thought of making the people believe about it by trying the SRI technique in her own land. It was fruitful and could earn the consent of villagers. Seeing her success now more than 70 families of the village have adopted this technology and doubled the paddy production. She further added the concept of vermin compost manure. She also provides the vermin compost manure at 15 rupees per kilo in the village. She further helps the villagers by providing the earthworms needed to produce vermin compost manure. Her role as CRP is to mobilise community into a common platform so that community can raise their own social and economic issues and together solve it in a proper manner, providing training to community on livelihood activities such as, SRI principles in vegetables, organic manure, organic pesticides preparation, SRI principles in the paddy, layout of horticulture plots, preparation of organic manure, etc. liaising with stakeholders like bank, NRLM,Block officials for SHG linkages purposes. So far she has successfully formed 12 SHGs mobilising

150 women members. She has linked 4 SHGs with bank for term loan of amount 50000. She initiated SRI farming with Organic fertilizers and pesticides. She is now successfully supporting more than 100 families on SRI techniques, organic farming, and horticulture plantations.

She said, “SeSTA changed my way of looking at life from a negative perspective to a positive one. Earlier I had nothing, but now I have all that I want, I have everything to keep my family happy and to sustain a self-fulfilled life; I live my life with dignity and with self-respect. I want to work for the community for my entire life and I don’t want my fellow SHG members to suffer the pain of poverty that I have gone though.”