Anusaya Gedam comes from a very poor community in Nagpur, India. She was married at the
age of seventeen to an unskilled worker. They lived in a one-room house with no electricity,
no running water, and no toilet facilities. Within one year Anusaya gave birth to a son, but as
her husband was earning only Rs500 (US$15) per month, the family could only afford to eat
once or twice a day. Anusaya began working in a tailor shop to learn stitching, but they paid
no stipend to her because she was unskilled. Anusaya and her husband had additional
children, and her first daughter stayed home from school to take care of the younger children.
In 1990, two women workers from the Community Development Society visited Anusaya and
encouraged her to start a small business. In December she took her first loan of Rs. 2000
(US$70) and began to sell children's clothes in a local bazaar. The CDS training seminars
helped her learn the basic principles of running and managing her business. Anusaya began
earning Rs300-400 (US$8-11) per month and deposited Rs100 (US$3) every month in a
savings account. In 1992, with her second loan of Rs5000 (US$139), she bought a sewing
machine and cloth. In 1994, she took her third and final loan to again expand her business.
Anusaya's sixteen year old son helps her in her shop along with her husband and one female
All four of her children now attend school. She has constructed a good house with two rooms,
a kitchen, a toilet, and electricity. She is able to provide better food, clothing, and school
books for her children.