More than 81,500 Saathis and more than 28 million women beneficiaries have been trained about the Internet throughout rural India. Each of them has a very different story to tell and different dreams which they finally feel they can turn into reality. These stories of success, pride and hope inspire us at FREND everyday to continue our work with women in rural India towards a better future. Get inspired too!
Rohini - Becoming an entrepreneur beyond the borders of her village
Please click here to read Rohini’s story
Through the Internet, Rohini could finally make her small bee-keeping unit profitable which she was unable to do before. Her business has grown by leaps and bounds as she began promoting her products through WhatsApp and took online orders. She also even went further and created her own website to create awareness, boost and expand her business outside the borders of her village. Earlier, where she used to sell 25 to 50 bottles, she is now selling 500 kg of honey a year!
Sujata - From housewife to the family’s bread-earner
Please click here to read Sujata’s story
Sujata’s husband is sick and hence not in a position to work and earn money. As a housewife Sujata earned some occasional income through some hobby tailoring work making it hard for the couple to care for their two children as well. The internet helped Sujata to learn about new designs to convert her hobby into a business resulting in earnings up to INR 5,000 - 6,000 monthly. Finally, she can make her dream come true: provide better prospects for her children’s future through being able to pay for their education.
Reshma - Fulfilled her dream through founding “Mom’s Cake Shop”
Please click here to read Reshma’s story
The Internet has helped Reshma find her voice and fulfil her aspirations of being financially independent and supporting her family. She followed her dreams and explored the internet for a topic she was really passionate about: Cake Making. Through Youtube she learned a huge variety of different cake recipes and started advertising her artistry at cake making with great success. By using the internet to continue to upskill and advertise she has seen her business grow from INR 2,000-3,000 per month to INR15,000 nowadays. Her family is very supportive and her children lovingly and with an immense sense of pride call her business: ‘Mom’s Cake Shop’.
Aparna - Became the respected face of success in her village
Please click here to read Aparna’s story
Aparna hails from a very poor family. When her first daughter was born it was difficult for her family to make ends meet. Through teaching women in her village on how to use online financial products and services, she became the respected face of success in her village. This was followed by engaging in the Printer Ajavika Yojana (introduced by FREND), from which Aparna is currently providing quality services to her villagers while saving their time, money and energy for printing and photocopying services. Today she earns about INR 3,000 - 4,000 monthly through the printing and other services she is offering which is enabling her to take care of her family now.
Madhavi - Enabled girls to access education
Please click here to read Madhavi’s story
Girls in rural India are often not provided with the same opportunities as boys. They are not allowed to go to school and don’t get proper education resulting in low prospects for their future. Madhavi furthered education and literacy among girls in her village through explaining girl child scholarships to local school authorities which she found information about on the internet. She also helped girls to apply for the scholarship scheme online through her smartphone. Due to her efforts, girls will receive benefits to the tune of INR 3,000 per month of this scheme which is enabling them to get access to education.
Ranthi - Driving socio-economic progress in her village
Please click here to read Ranthi’s story
Since exploring and using the internet to gain information, Ranthi has understood that there are many possibilities to make the lives of people in her village safer and better. Traveling across villages and meeting residents she found that one of the biggest need gaps was the lack of basic sanitary facilities. No access to toilets and open defecation can lead to severe conditions: serious health issues, an increased risk of sexual exploitation as well as psychosocial stressors. In this, Ranthi saw an immediate need for action: she helped build more than 80 toilets in her village and learned about funds and schemes villagers were eligible for to finance the toilets as well.
Swapna – Awakened her entrepreneurial spirit through the internet
Please click here to read Swapna’s story
Through learning about and on using the internet, Swapna developed a passion for making ornaments. What started off as a hobby turned into a livelihood opportunity for her. Realizing that she could earn an income with her work encouraged her to explore and create more designs which she found on Youtube. She also used the Internet to learn more about business strategies and is now proudly leading a business which is giving her an income of INR 7,000 monthly.
Aasiya - Creating an entire market place to promote entrepreneurship
Please click here to read Aasiya’s story
Through her work as an Internet Saathi, Aasiya has created a group of female entrepreneurs within her village which has led to a unique local market concept called - Apna Bazaar. Here these enterprising women come forward with their best offerings be it food items, mehndi art, sugandhi ubtan, jhoolas and the list goes on. These women are polishing their skills using the Internet and further training small groups of women on the same.
Sunita – Changing women’s lives through making them entrepreneurs
Please click here to read Sunita’s story
Sunita is training women in her village to become entrepreneurs through motivating them to think about how they can earn an income on their own. Though not always easy, as some women are not looking at becoming entrepreneurs or are held back due to social pressure, her achievements show her that she is doing the right thing: 5 of her beneficiaries are now running their own boutique and they are curious to further improve their business through her training.