Out of the woods through an Income Generation loan

BMI Client: Ms. Pushpa Kumari Premathilake

Location: Kothmale

Ms. Pushpa Kumari Premathilaka is a 41-year-old widowed female residing in Wirasekarapura in Kothmale. She has two daughters and a son and is the sole breadwinner in the family. Although she has been running a small grocery store for a number of years, earning a monthly income of LKR 20,000, this had not been sufficient to cover her expenses. Hence, she faced severe hardship and was many a time forced to pawn her jewelry while her children had to keep away from attending school due to the lack of resources like school books and money.

Ms. Pushpa joined the Berendina programme in 2013 with an objective of developing her business. In 2013, she obtained her first loan of LKR 25,000 which was used to increase the volume of stocks she sold. In 2014, she obtained a further loan of LKR 40,000 to purchase a refrigerator and a cupboard. In 2016, she received her third loan of LKR 100,000 which was utilized to repair her sales store.

Pushpa Kumari has participated in the Improve Your Business (IYB) training programme conducted by BMI’s Enterprise Development Service. This was of immense use to her as she acquired the much-needed in depth knowledge and technical know-how vital to elevate her business. Presently, Ms. Pushpa has expanded her business of selling vegetables and has named her venture “Kumari Stores”.  Ms. Pushpa earns a monthly net of LKR 150,000/ while her monthly profit amounts to about LKR 10,000/. Thanks to Berendina, she is grateful that she has been able to manage her day-to-day expenses including school fees without much burden. 

Now that her standard of living has improved drastically, she plans to considerably expand her business and is presently saving LKR 65,000 a month to fulfill her dream.


A Solid start...

BMI Client: T. N. K. Kandambi

Location: Bulathkohupitiya

T. N. K. Kandambi’s family of four were living in dire conditions in Kabagamuwa, in the Kegalle District. Their home consisted of a small thatched hut, which could not even withstand rain or wind. The living conditions were also affecting their school-going children’s educational development as well as their social well-being. Therefore, they felt the crucial need to build a permanent home for themselves, especially for the sake of their children. However, since the family’s sole source of income was the husband’s meagre monthly income as a saw mill worker, building a permanent house was only a dream for them.

In 2007, the Kandambi family learnt that BMI was providing loans for the construction of homes. TNK Kandambi obtained her first loan of Rs.10, 000 in 2007 to lay the foundation for their new house. In 2008, they obtained Rs. 25,000 from BMI, in 2010 another Rs. 40,000 and once again in 2012 they obtained another loan of Rs.40,000. With these successive loans the family was able to gradually construct the walls and build the roof of their present home.

The family finally completed the construction of their permanent home in 2013, consisting of a living room, kitchen and two bed rooms. For this family, a dream had finally come true.

Developing skills for better lives

BMI Client: Uthpala Indrani

Location: Mawanella

R. M. Uthpala Indrani (age 46) from Higula, Mawanella is a mother of two. Her daughters are currently pursuing their education, one in university and the other in secondary education. Since Indrani’s husband was unemployed, the family relied completely on an income of Rs. 15,000 generated through a small-scale cultivation of a few crops on their land. The income thus generated was barely sufficient to meet the family’s basic needs and further expenses had to be incurred for the childrens’ education. In these circumstances, Indrani was desperate for an additional source of income and approached BMI by obtaining membership in a loan cluster. Subsequently, through BMI’s EDS initiative Indrani developed an interest in cultivation of betel. She obtained a loan of Rs.30,000 for this purpose and received  technical  advice, training and skills required for betel cultivation. Indrani, together with her husband also joined the Betel cultivators Association of Mawanella which was formed by BMI with the assistance of the Ministry of Minor Export crops promotion. The family thus started to expand their betel cultivation in July 2013 and after a period of 4 ½ months they were able to earn a regular monthly income of around Rs.13000. This additional income has eased many of the family’s financial burdens and is also contributing towards a saving of Rs. 5000 per month which will be used to complete their partly built house.

Lighting up lives

BMI Client: Kitnasami Ravikumar

Location: Dickoya

Kitnasami Ravikumar (34) and his wife are both estate workers in Dickoya, in the Nuwara Eliya District. The couple's daily wages are barely sufficient to satisfy the basic needs of their three children and Ravi's parents who live with them. He was unable to afford the initial costs of electrification, and the family had to undergo numerous difficulties due to their inability to obtain electricity. For instance, the children's educational development suffered as they found it difficult to study, particularly in the night and at dawn. Meanwhile, the family were generally looked down upon by their neighbours and relatives, thus affecting their social well-being. In 2013, with the support of the Estate Co-operative Society, Ravi obtained a loan of Rs.25,000 from BMI for the electrification of this home. This transformed their lives; the children were able to do their school work with ease and the family obtained the added comfort of listening to the radio or watching TV for entertainment. For Ravi and his family, life was lit up by BMI.

Mending lives...

BMI Client: Udaha Gedara Punchi Mahattya

Location: Mawanella

Udaha Gedara Punchi Mahattya is a 66-year old widow from Mawanella, who was dependent on her son to fulfil her basic needs. Although previously, she had operated as a relatively successful seamstress in her area, increasing competition had forced her to discontinue this operation. In her twilight years, she was eager to utilise her innate talent to generate some additional income, as she longed for financial independence. Resultantly, in 2013 she approached BMI to obtain financial support to recommence her business. BMI in line with its partnership with HelpAge provided her Rs.30,000 which she utilised to purchase the required material and gradually expanded her operations to produce caps, children’s wear, underwear and bed sheets among others. She has regained her popularity as a leading seamstress in her area and is now able to earn an additional income of around Rs.10,000-12,000 per month. With the help of BMI, she rebuilt her life.

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