The world came crashing down for Kamalakola when she lost her husband to malaria.
“He worked in a textile mill in Surat. His income was huge support for the family,” said Kamalakola Nayak, resident of Luduludi village in Ganjam district of Odisha. Though she was working as a farm labourer, her wages were inadequate to support family expenses.
On her neighbour’s suggestion, Kamalakola decided to reach out to WOTR. The organization had been promoting livelihoods in the region under the Holistic Rural Development Program (HRDP). “Since then my life has changed. Through HRDP, I received a loan of Rs 45,000 to start my grocery shop”, she added.
As much as Kamalakola was excited to launch her business, she had absolutely no idea of running a shop.
“WOTR helped me understand the nuances of running a micro-enterprise. With their support, I built invaluable business skills such as managing inventory, negotiation and bookkeeping. I have gained immense confidence after the intervention,” she chuckled.
Today, Kamalakola is earning Rs 200 of daily profit from her shop, which is a substantial increase from her past income. Her daughter Sugyani, studying in class 9, aspires to become an engineer or lecturer. She said, “After my father’s death I was afraid that I’d be forced to quit schooling. WOTR has been a huge support in keeping our dreams alive.”
Kamalakola is now a confident woman and has become an inspiration for many. She regularly attends follow-up meetings to share her progress and learn new skills.