“I lost my husband when I was 34 years old and started working as a cook in the neighbouring areas to support my family. I always wished to have my own business and through its training campaign, ASA-India helped me achieve my dream. Along with my cooking job, I have now started my clothing business based on what I learnt from the skill campaigns conducted by ASA-India. I work for two to three hours as a tailor, making new clothes and repairing old ones, and have become quite popular for my work in the neighbourhood. While my cooking job still acts as the primary source of income, my sewing business provides a useful additional source of income.”


“I had started a small grocery store with a loan of INR 20,000/- from ASA-India. Initially, the range and stock of products I sold was limited. However, in a period of two years, with constant support from ASA-India, the stock in my shop has grown to INR 1,00,000/-. Nowadays, I stock all the daily use items from popular brands and run the most preferred grocery store in the neighbourhood. Interactions with the ASA-India staff have always been fruitful, and they have never pressurized me on the repayment of loans.”


“I took an initial loan of INR 20,000/- from ASA-India, which I invested in watermelon farming. In addition, I used this money for growing other crops, diversifying in farming and wholesale activities. I not only grow watermelons with the help of ASA-India, but also retail them from roadside shops. When floods ravaged Kishanganj last year, ASA-India relaxed my loan repayments till the situation became normal again.”


My husband is a migrant worker and I was struggling to meet the expenses for my children. Everyone recommended ASA-India to me. My family had no capital, and ASA-India stepped in to fill the gap. I availed a loan to purchase two power looms, starting a unit from home. Later, I expanded the loan and expanded the capacity of my unit with another loom, which is providing great dividends.”


“Three years ago, I started Zari embroidery as a self-employed person. Despite the flow of work, it was not possible for me to manage the work load alone. Expanding my business required capital and a neighbourhood well-wisher recommended ASA-India to me. With the assistance of ASA-India, I have been able to grow my team, which currently has seven members. Earlier, I used to struggle to get one project done per week, but with my team, we can now finish up to 12 or 13 on a weekly basis. Obtaining loans from ASA-India is very simple and easy. I have borrowed in three spells, first an amount of INR 18000/-, then INR 30,000/-, followed by a loan of INR 15,000/-. 


“I have been associated with ASA-India for last five years as a borrower. The water plant that ASA-India has constructed has helped us a lot. I have been taking water from there on regular basis for the last six months. My home is close to the plant, and everyday either my son or my husband takes the water from there to home. Before this plant, we had to cycle for 1.5 kilometres to get arsenic-free water. We are grateful to ASA-India for constructing this plant for us.”


“The water plant built by ASA-India is near my home and the quality of water is excellent. Other places have water that has white residue on it when kept for two to three days. People from far away (four kilometres or more) come to take water from the ASA-India water plant. Previously, I used to purchase water in barrels for which we had to pay around INR 250-300 per month. Now I am getting better quality water without paying anything.”


“The condition after the floods was quite bad in my area, before receiving the ASA-India relief products. I was never pressurized by the ASA-India staff for paying the loan instalments, instead I received moral support as well as relief products from them. I also attended the health camp organized by ASA-India along with my daughter after the flood and underwent different tests.”


“The floods came all of a sudden. Everyone from the children to the elders was affected badly. The ASA-India staff reassured me that since I was going through a grave financial problem at the time, I need not pay the interest right away, and that they were there to help me through the tough moments. I was also called for the health camp organized by the ASA-India and went there with my mother-in-law. Over there I gathered experience about how medical tests are performed and other aspects related to health are diagnosed. It was my first experience of attending a camp like that.”


“The condition after the floods was really bad. Water had risen to a dangerous level in my home and we had to take shelter at a nearby school with the children. On informing the ASA-India staff, they told me that I can pay the interest when my condition improves. I went to the specially arranged health camp by ASA-India along with my husband and children. I was diagnosed with a diabetes problem during the tests, something I previously had no idea about.”


“I was in the ASA-India camp after the floods. The ASA-India staff did not pressurize me at all, and told me that I can pay the interest after the floods subsided. Along with my mother, I attended the ASA-India health camp for a free check-up.”


“I joined the ASA Pathsala when I was in class seven. I used to attend the classes on a regular basis as I found the classes beneficial. Having achieved the target of attending more than 70% of the classes, I was presented with a solar lamp. Using the lamp increased my study hours. I am from a remote area of Assam and electricity is scarce where I live. The solar lamp meant I did not have to use the kerosene lamp for hours, which leads to pollution.”


“I have always aspired to be a doctor, and joined the ASA Pathsala four years ago to support my dream. I was one of the first students attending the Pathsala. ASA connected me to Narayana Health and their Udayer Pathe program. They even helped me submit my application, and I got selected there after clearing the entrance exam. I scored 92 percent in the Madhyamik examination. My mother is an ASA-India borrower while my father is a tailor and our family income these days is not substantial as my father is not physically well. I have been trying to clear the joint entrance examination to pursue a medical degree. The scholarship money obtained from ASA-India has helped me to purchase costly books for my studies without putting any additional pressure on my father.”


“I cleared the board examination in 2019, and am very happy to get the ASA-India scholarship. My mother (Purabi Gupta) is an ASA-India borrower and found out about the scholarship while attending one of the group meetings. My family’s economic condition was very bad and to support the family, my mother took a loan from ASA-India a few years back. With the help of the extra income generated using the loan money, my parents sent me to a hostel to complete my tenth standard education. I have scored 85% in the board examination and when my mother heard about the scholarship, I applied for the same. My mother submitted my marksheet and other documents that were required to be eligible for the ASA-India scholarship. We all feel that ASA-India is doing a great service to the poor by providing such a scholarship. I hope that other poor students like me who are not able to afford the academic costs, continue to get this scholarship as it is a great benefit to us all. I have also heard about ASA Pathsala where poor students are getting quality education free of cost.”


“I have applied for the ASA-India scholarship in the hope of using the money to fund my bioscience education. My parents are already paying a lot as I am studying science and it is very difficult for them to fund the extra projects due to our financial condition. The projects that I do are substantial and the scholarship money that I shall receive shall help in all aspects of project expense management. I love biology a lot, and after my course, am planning to sit for the NEET, which would allow me to pursue a career in biology. I thank ASA-India for its support.”


“I obtained 82% marks in my board examinations and am studying science. The ASA-India scholarship money helped me to get a private tutor and buy my practical books. These things will help me immensely in the future. My parents, too, feel that ASA-India scholarship has helped a lot in furthering my studies and it will be very helpful for us to continue to receive such assistance.”


“I am an ASA-India borrower and currently on my second loan cycle. I was aware that I had high pressure; however, I had no clue that I am diabetic as well until I attended the health camp organized by ASA-India. I liked the help and support of the doctor as well as his assistants a lot. I had had a nagging pain problem in my legs for some time and when I shared this problem with the doctor, the doctor advised me to reduce my weight to make the pain subside automatically. The doctor gave me undivided attention during my diagnosis. The health camp was really helpful for me but I really wished that the medicines would also be provided in the camp itself.”


“I have been associated with ASA-India for the last three years and am on my third loan cycle. I used to struggle with seeing properly at night, but had not visited an eye specialist before. I attended the camp organized by ASA-India and was diagnosed with an eyesight problem. I was very happy with the services I received during the camp. The doctor explained my problem clearly and I have specifically requested for a health camp in my area in the near future.”


“I was not aware that I am having cataract until I attended the eye check-up camp organized by ASA-India. I was very happy with the services provided during the camp. The doctor was helpful and attended to me properly. I was told about my cataract problem, which was the reason behind my continuous eye pain. It would be better if the medicines, apart from the spectacles, can also be given out during the camps.”


“I have been associated with ASA-India for the last 11 years, and at this moment have borrowed a loan of INR 30000. I am 45 years old and my husband died when she was 31. I own a grocery shop where I invested the money from my previous loan. After completing the skill development training with ASA-India, I started my own cloth making business as well. I make four to five pieces of cloth every day and have my clientele in the nearby areas. For my business, I work two to three hours daily, based on the requirements. I used the profit from my cloth making business to reconstruct the grocery shop. ASA-India is my extended family and has helped me a lot all through the years. I have been provided with in depth training, with the help of which I have diversified my business.”


“I lost my husband when I was 40, three years ago. To support my family, I took a loan from ASA-India. At that point I had an old machine and only some basic knowledge of cloth making. When ASA-India took me under the skill development training, I was provided with better knowledge of cloth making besides a new machine. With that, I was able to extend my cloth making business, where I make four to five pieces of cloth daily. ASA-India has given me a new lease of life. I am currently using my income from the sewing business to manage family expenses and, most importantly, to train my son in an institution in the field of electric work. My primary source of income remains the sewing business.”