Thirty two year old Umaramanan Kowsaladevi living in Sivanagar hamlet in Oddusuddan having a 10 year old son and 8 year old daughter, is the breadwinner of her women-headed household. Her husband, an ex-militant has since been remarried without divorcing her. They are housed in a temporary shelter provided by International Organization for Migration on the land which is in her previous husband’s name and he now wants to oust them to bring his new wife in. Kowsaladevi is sad as they both earlier cleared the forest to get this land under a permit from the Government Agent. She has lost all her belongings during the internal conflict in the country. She now prefers to get a permanent dwelling within the Indian Housing Scheme. Kowsaladevi suffers from paroxysm but she attends to her children’s needs including schooling. One blessing for her is that they already show much promise in their studies.
Kowsaladevi is a member of the 8-member small group Sudarnila of the Alaimagal cluster of the Yougasakthi Women Federation. Their group savings amounted to Rs.72,000 out of which Rs.58,000 has been provided to members on a revolving loan fund (RLF). Her individual savings in the fund is Rs.7,500. She got a loan of Rs.10,000 from her group. In addition, she obtained a loan of Rs.15,000 through her cluster under the RLF for conservation farming, which was made possible by SLCDF from the financial assistance provided by Diakonia.
With the total loan of Rs.25,000 she cultivated groundnut in a land extent of 1 ½ acres as well as paddy in 1 ½ acres under Muthayankattu tank, which is 3 km away from her house. The paddy land is a gift from her parents while for groundnut cultivation she got a land on lease for Rs.8,000. With the initial harvest from the two crops in three months she hopes to get a net income of Rs.50,000.
Umaramanan Kowsaladevi is a strong and independent woman who strives to stand on her own feet. She is grateful to SLCDF for been assured of a steady avenue to educate her children and meeting her domestic needs with the new endeavour. She is looking forward to a life of quality with her two children. She is also determined to go beyond and serve her self help group, cluster and community as well.