Unfortunately, the worst blow was yet to come.
The stress of the business losses finally took its toll on Padma’s husband – and his health started deteriorating alarmingly. Padma immediately took over all responsibilities of running the shop, and tended to her sick husband.
Managing the business single-handedly was tough. But though they had lost much, Padma never lost her indomitable courage and optimism. She kept her head on her shoulders, took strategic decisions, and played it smart. For example, upon realising that her shop was surrounded by schools and colleges, Padma started offering photocopying services. At first, the machine she had was good enough, but soon, she needed a more advanced one. New machines though cost money, and Padma found herself caught up in the jumble of loan paperworks, once again at wits’ end.
|A chance encounter, a deliberate decision, and a happy beginning|
While visiting the bank to enquire about the loan, Padma happened to learn about the deAsra seminars for small businesses. She made up her mind to attend the seminar, and that according to her, proved to be a life-saving decision. “The advice and hand-holding support deAsra facilitators offered was exactly what I needed to get my business on track. The team helped me fill the necessary bank documents, accompanied me to the bank, and finally got me the loan. I bought my machine immediately, and today, my business is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to deAsra’s advice and timely intervention.”
Why Padma won in more ways than one
Padma rose against all odds to carve a niche for herself. But in her victory lies a bigger triumph. While clearing her path of obstacles, Padma was also silently paving a new path for the neighbourhood women, who, after hearing her story, were inspired to start supporting their husbands in their businesses too.
In this way, Padma’s victories were not only her own, but they also marked a triumphant milestone in the larger battle of equal rights for women. Today, Padma commands the respect of everybody in her conservative community, right from the oldest senior to the youngest boy – who now know that a woman’s place is not only in the kitchen – but wherever she may deem it to be.