She is a single mother with two young daughters. Hard-working, extremely talented and with a tremendous passion to provide the highest quality of care to her customers. If she had been born in a higher socio-economic segment, she could potentially be running a chain of beauty parlors by now. But born into a poor Kannadiga family in Kanakapura near Bangalore, she is today caught under a vicious DEBT trap.
PIC: Suma with her two daughters
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
For women who live in and around the Kanakpura road, Suma is a familiar figure. For years, she has been visiting the women and giving them massages in their homes and offering other beauty treatments at reasonable costs.
At weddings, Suma is usually called to prepare the bride with bridal make up. Suma also has a loyal clientele amongst women across Bangalore and often she travels up to 2 hours on a scootie to do a massage for women living right across Bangalore city.
Suma also has a special skill of soothing nerves and releasing stress just by her presence. Her clients love her and Suma was making enough money from her freelance work to educate and provide a safe home for her two daughters. But Suma had a dream. She wanted to start her own beauty parlour.
And she did.
In 2016, Suma rented a first-floor space in a strategic location just off Kanakapura Road. Selling her personal jewels, dipping into her savings and borrowing from family, clients and friends, she set up a beauty facility investing in high-quality products and equipment.
PIC: Suma attending to her customer at the parlour.
Her initial investment was Rs 15 lakhs. Over the next 18 months, she repaid a considerable amount of the loan and in February 2018, she had just Rs 6 lakhs left to repay. But in the meantime, she was losing energy. The cash crush intensified by the pressure of monthly EMIs and her debtors who were now calling her every day, was causing tremendous stress. Her monthly revenue was just about covered her EMIs, she had no money left to manage her family expenses or her children’s education.
WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT SUMA?
This is the story of millions of vulnerable people in developing countries who cannot rise to their potential because of the debt trap.
Suma’s story is especially poignant because:
• She is a single mother from a vulnerable socio-economic background
• Two girl children rely on her for their education and a safe future
• She is talented, hardworking and committed and has the courage to dream for a better future for herself and her daughters
This is our effort in Reducing inequalities, creating gender balance, women empowerment, decent work and economic growth. Please support us in helping SUMA get rid of her financial burden and live a normal life thereby encouraging many other women to come forward and establish their independence.
About International Association for Human Values (IAHV)
Peace is possible in our lifetime – Re-awakening of Human Values is the key
IAHV offers researched and evidence-based programs to solve root causes of society’s most serious problems – allowing Human Values to flourish again worldwide.
IAHV offers programs to reduce stress and develop leaders so that human values can flourish in people and communities. We foster the daily practice of human values – a sense of connectedness and respect for all people and the natural environment, an attitude of non-violence, and an ethic of social service. Our programs enhance clarity of mind, shift attitudes and behaviors, and develop leaders and communities that are resilient, responsible, and inspired.
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