A tale of a hardworking VOA from Butchayyapeta Mandal
Maha Lakshmi's journey took a transformative turn when she discovered her eligibility to
join the Priyanka Self-Help Group (SHG) in her village. Eagerly, she became a member
and started receiving an honorarium of Rs. 350 for her contributions. With determination
and some financial support from the SHG, she delved into agriculture, cultivating paddy
and producing jaggery. Recognizing the life-changing potential of SHGs, Maha Lakshmi
was inspired to prevent others from enduring the hardships she had faced prior to
Fuelled by this mission, she embarked on a path of awareness creation within the
village. She strived to ensure that every eligible woman in the community embraced the
advantages of SHG membership. Her efforts were dedicated to dismantling barriers and
enabling fellow women to partake in the empowering benefits of these groups.
Witnessing children sacrificing education for agricultural and domestic duties, Maha
Lakshmi and her fellow SHG members intervened. Through persuasive conversations,
they persuaded parents to recognize the long-term value of education. As a result, 15
children were sent to VRR Peta Gurukula Patasala, while 9 others found a new home in
The battle against child marriages also found a fervent advocate in Maha Lakshmi. Her
persistent awareness campaigns contributed significantly to reducing the prevalence of
such marriages within the village. Additionally, she tackled cases where eligible
beneficiaries were struggling to access services like pensions, housing schemes, and
education facilities. Leveraging the support of Grama Volunteers at Village Secretariats,
she ensured that these individuals received the entitlements they deserved.
Also, sewing machines were provided to impoverished women without
employment prospects, enhancing their skills and lives. Maha Lakshmi's dedication to
raising living standards extended to incorporating needy women into savings
associations. Furthermore, she facilitated loans for over 10 women through these
groups, offering them the means to conduct their own small-scale businesses.
The ripples of her efforts even reached the agricultural community, where families saved
an average of 7 to 10 thousand rupees per month due to her awareness initiatives
about financial prudence. Maha Lakshmi's gratitude knows no bounds. Thanks to her
SHG membership, she could clear her 10th class exam and also ensured that both of
her children achieved bachelor's degrees. Her husband, once plagued by alcohol
addiction, was also guided toward a productive path in agriculture by the same SHG
that transformed her life.