This case describes the story of a client from Saija’s Dholi branch. It explains how the client benefited from Saija’s basic microfinance loans as well as its new energy loan products and how these benefits transformed her life.

In a village located in the Dholi region of Bihar, Rojida Khatun lives with her husband and two children. Her husband is a day laborer who supported his family while Rojida supplemented his income by selling bangles. Along with raising her two children and doing daily household chores, Rojida worked every day – through scorching heat or pouring monsoon rains – with the goal of selling a few bangles every day. She dreamed of having her own bangle shop and began to save what was needed to pull together the initial investment required to open her shop.

Days and months passed and her daily life remained the same, until one day in 2015 when a customer told her about Saija. She learned that Saija offered loans to poor households in her village. She took the news as blessing and it dawned on her that her dream of opening a bangle shop could become a reality.

Rojida enrolled herself as a Saija client in a nearby group, and her big day finally came: the day of loan disbursement in the Saija office of Dholi. Her husband saw a broad smile on her face that morning as she offered him a cup of tea, and asked with surprise, Aaj aap bohut khush lag rahe ho, aisa kya baathain? She held his hand and promptly replied, Haanji, aaj upar waale ne humara khuwaish sunn lee. Is liey aj mai khush huu bohut. She then told her husband that Saija would offer her a loan of Rs.15,000 that day.

That afternoon she walked to the Dholi office of Saija with her group members and they each received loans one by one. They all left smiling.

She opened her dream shop right in front of her house within the next few days. She even added a few more products to sell, including earrings and bindis. The store did well and was open all day until dusk, helping Rojida improving her livelihood.

A year passed, and her loan repayment was ending. She decided to take a second loan of Rs. 30,000 and expand her business. This time she added garments to her inventory.

Over time, she began to realize that business slowed down for 1 to 2 hours every day during the daily power cuts. In early February 2015, a Saija field officer came offering a new product: a solar lamp. After learning more about the product, she decided to buy it to run her shop during power cuts.

Today, because of the bright light of her solar lamp Rojida can run her shop even during power cuts. She also brings the lamp home with her and uses it to light her home while she cook food after dark and while her children study in the evenings. With Saija’s microfinance loan and solar energy loan, Rojida and her family’s lives have improved day by day.