A lightening Candle in the Air  
Given proper support and encouragement, there are millions of women who can stand on their feet. Mamtaben is a shining example, made a significant difference and established an ideology for making lives more meaningful.
Mamtaben’s hut was a simple dwelling made of thatched walls, cow dung-coated mud floor and a roof made out of palm leaves. This space included the family sitting area and kitchen as well as the bedroom. Mamtaben and her husband have two children 10-year-old son, Ashfaq, and 8-year-old daughter, Noorie. Both children go to a nearby municipal school in the village. They are first generation learners.
Her husband, Usman was a good father but had a habit of drinking. When drunk, he got into arguments with Mamtaben and abused her. The children were not happy with the situation but were helpless. Mamtaben had no alternative but to tolerate Usman’s unacceptable behavior as she could not leave him because she doesn’t had enough means to support her children. Because of the way in which Usman treated Mamtaben, she was not respected in her family and society.
Besides, Usman wasted a lot of his earnings in drinking and smoking leaving very few funds for sustaining a normal family life and providing proper nutrition and education for the children. Mamtaben was illiterate but came across as street smart with a lot of wisdom, ambition and initiative given proper encouragement. Given a loan, Mamtaben wanted to start a business of making bricks. “If I can earn some money, I will first take care of these children and then work towards normalizing our lives so that we will not have to worry everyday about our next meal,” she said.
Mamtaben is not alone in her pitiable life saga. She represents an estimated 200 million village women in rural India whose talents are untapped. IWWF firmly believes that this talent not only needs our support but it requires our focused attention to eliminate the gender gap, utilize the talents, provide self-respect and improve the future of millions of children like Ashfaq and Noorie. IWWF Women Empowerment program is specifically designed to encourage the millions of Mamtaben to either start their own small business or to acquire some skills to become economically independent and stand their own ground. Our Women Empowerment programs are implemented in partnership with several local NGOs.
It is an amazing story of maximizing utilization of the fixed assets in order to improve the margin. She has improved the inventory turns with the same level of fixed assets. Her personal story of success reinforced.

Mamtaben is a member of one such self-help group. She got her first loan of Rs.5000/- in 1999 to start her business of making the bricks and selling them locally. Even though she was hugely successful in her business, she was not satisfied with this level of achievement.

  Copyright@ 2009 India Women Welfare Foundations