Rukmini has been living in Ambedkarnagar for 20 years with her husband and three children. She works as a domestic worker and her husband does petty jobs.
A year ago, Rukmini‘s husband came down with Chikungunya, a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes, causing an illness with symptoms similar to dengue fever. He suffered for 15 days in spite of the treatment by the doctor. His joint pain became so severe that the doctor advised Rukmini to take him to a good hospital.
Because she needed money for his treatment, she approached a local moneylender and borrowed 10,000 rupees [$209 USD]. The interest rate was five rupees per hundred [$10 USD per week], which had to be paid in weekly installments. Her husband was able to receive treatment, but the loan could not be paid regularly since her husband was indisposed.
With these tough circumstances, she quickly defaulted on the loan. The moneylender began harassing her and confiscated possessions like her family’s TV, table fan, and some brass utensils, in spite of her innumerable pleas. Having no other option, she borrowed money again from another source — this time at an even higher interest rate. This resulted in even greater strain and shame for Rukmini and her family.
Because of these experiences, Rukmini and her husband were wary of taking out any more loans, even though they wanted to build a toilet in their home. Then they learned about Water.org and its local partner, SIDUR, and the opportunity to take out a WaterCredit loan for a household toilet. After talking with SIDUR, they realized that the loan system was very realistic and that the staff had their best interest in mind. They applied for, and were given a loan of Rs. 8000 [$167 USD] to apply to constructing a toilet.
The loan has made a world of difference. Rukmini and her husband received the money, constructed the toilet, and are able to make their regular payments. They are thankful to Water.org and SIDUR for being so accommodating and understanding, as they had no idea that obtaining loan could be so easy and beneficial!