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  • Inspire Ankp

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

KGBV hostels.

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.

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