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The woman who built her own house

The woman who built her own house

For many years Radha Devi never had a say in her house. Forty- years old Radha was born and brought up in rural Bihar and shifted to Trilokpuri slum community after her marriage to Munna at the age of 16.

Within a few years, the couple was blessed with five children which kept Radha busy throughout the day. She never stepped out of her home and had no knowledge of the world outside. Her husband worked as a Security Guard and had odd working hours.

In early 2000, one of her children fell sick and being all alone in her house she gathered the courage to come to Asha for the treatment. What she saw in Asha was a different world. Not only she got the treatment of her child but it also opened her mind and her curiosity about the work of Asha. With encouragement from the Asha team, she started visiting Asha regularly. Soon she became the active member of Mahila Mandal and started contributing to its work. Considering her ability in communication and grasping skills the Asha team encouraged her for the training of a CHV (Community Health Volunteer). Soon she started working as a CHV at Asha’s Trilokpuri slum community. A lady who always stayed in a corner of her house had now become medical didi (elder sister) in her community. People approached her day and night for any medical emergencies.

In 2008, when Asha started its Financial Inclusion Programme, Radha was the first one to open the bank account in her community. She decided to renovate her small shanty for which she took two separate loans of Rs 20000 and Rs 15000. With her little savings and the loan amount, she built a two-story house. She earned some extra to add to the family income by renting out 2 rooms. She not only repaid the loan amount but also was able to settle her children in their lives. She became a role model for the other families in the community.

“My husband who once never let me speak now asks for my opinion in any big or small decisions. A lot of things have changed in my life because of Asha. I will be forever grateful to Dr Kiran and Asha team for making my dream come true.”

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