Sells tender coconuts, Sarkar Samakulam - Tamil Nadu

Mariammal is a member of Aalayam SHG in a small village near Coimbatore. Her story is one of perseverance. The 38-year-old has only studied till her grade-12 and got married very young to a toddy-collector from Kerala. Senthil Kumar, her husband climbs coconut and palm trees to make his living. It is more than 10 years since the couple settled down in Sarkar Samakulam to make a better living.

Mariammal joined a Belstar SHG and received INR 8000 as loan. She utilized this smartly to start a tender coconut stall. While the stall did well, it still wasn’t enough income and the couple were living in a rented house. Then she took yet another loan of INR 30,000 and purchased more coconuts and a rack to store them as well. She also updated her husband’s equipment and tools for tree climbing. The investments paid off well and her sales went up to 50 coconuts per day, with a profit of INR 10 per tender coconut.

Today, with gradual increase in sales, Mariammal is living in her own thatched house with a washing machine. She is not only doing steady sales, but also pooled up her savings for a rainy day.

Stories of change

Belstar’s success stories paint the picture of how women have inspired many by beating impossible odds and succeeding on their own for their families, with a little help from microfinance.

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