Maiya Rai: A Case Study
I was born in a small low-level family in hilly area of East Nepal, Illam. From the age of childhood, I had the habit of serving others. It was exactly on 15th of March 2011 when I got an opportunity to be linked with Jeevan Bikas Microfinance Programme whose vision was itself ‘Poverty Free Nepal’ which came to match with my childhood sentiment.
Since I was born in a hill, I didn’t know to ride a bicycle so I served by walking on foot for two years. Slowly by the help of my friends, I learned how to ride a bicycle. After some time I also learned to ride a motorcycle. This motivated and gave me energy to provide more service to common people without losing any precious time.
As per the rule of the organization, I was transferred to Branch Office Bhadrapur on 14th October 2012. At that time, due to the pressure of plenty of microfinance organizations there was a riot against microfinance activities. Every people, household, community and society of that place was involved in the movement. Actions like negative advertisement about microfinance activities, meetings and so on were organized against microfinance at various places. The situation was beyond control and it looked as if the end of microfinance programme has come.
On 16th November 2013, I was promoted as branch manager and it was definitely a challenge to work at this place. There were 11 centers, 57 members and 14 lakh due loan. The conditions of other remaining centers were also not in good condition. At first, I decided to work through the method of teamwork and then explore the problems and challenges confronting us and investigate best possible solution measures for them. After that, we decided to meet the members and guardian face to face who were involved in destroying the microfinance programs as part of our regular meeting programme. Apart from regular face-to-face interaction, reminding about the vision and objective of microfinance activities, listening to their problems, being friendly like a member of their family were part of our programme.
During this course, there were many obstacles like no center meeting taking place, not letting employees to enter the house when asking about the due loan, abusing and scolding the employees and so on. However, without losing hope I went everyday on regular meeting and listened to their every minor problems. Sometimes I even went at their workplace and helped them in their work in order to pull their attention. After some days, some members joined the center meeting program and started saving from Rs. 20 onwards. In course of time, this amount increased to Rs. 100, Rs. 200 and so on. At times during the meeting sessions, I used to discuss about the various ways for uplifting their living standard and economic status. As time passed by their thought also changed and slowly they started paying their installments for their due loan. The other members who were not responding were my next target. I often visited them accompanying those members who didn’t pay their installments at first and now were active members. Sometimes I went on a visit for even 3-4 times a day. I discussed about the difficulties and obstacles they had to face and tried to motivate by sharing the success stories of many such members. By applying a variety of techniques, finally I was able to change their heart. The presence of members initiated to thickening in the centres that were once in very miserable condition and at the verse of collapse. I frequently conversed about the benefits of being associated with the organization. This turned them to be regretful for their past mistakes and give them positive energy to rectify their mistakes.
The joint effort of our team along with the JBS made us successful to collect the entire due
loan on June 30, 2014. This was the unforgettable moment of my life. In order to boost the value of the Microfinance Programme I continued the members and guardian meeting every on a regular basis. By applying PWR programme I tried to include the inferior class people who were deprived from the benefits of the programme and worked for advancement of our activities persistently. Overwhelmed by the improvement in the lives of the members associated with our organization, I share their success stories with other members for motivating them. This makes me forget the grief and complexity that we had come through and enjoy the pleasure as a result of the progress of our microfinance programme.