VFS microfinance customer with her handloom

Jonali Talukdar

3 kids in school, Assam woman begins 2nd life at 39

Jonali Talukdar of Ghatbar village in Assam’s Barpeta district was married for 18 years and a mother of three school-going children when she decided the family needed a second income stream. Her carpenter husband Buddhadeb was doing his best, but that was not enough.

Jonali approached the Pathsala branch of Village Financial Services for a loan of Rs 25,000. That was two years ago.

Today, Jonali, 41, is the proud owner of a handloom. She weaves mekhela chadors, the ensemble worn by Assamese women. Jonali earns an average of Rs 10,000 a month, although this varies month to month.

She bought the loom from Guwahati. She also has a machine for making the designs. She had learnt weaving as a teenager at home, as she came from a family of weavers. Jonali’s products have price tags ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 3,000. The prices vary with the design effort.

Jonali is glad she decided to become an entrepreneur and grateful to VFS to help with the loan to grow her business. Jonali, who dropped out of school before completing Class 10, has ensured that her children get an education and wants them to go to college after they complete school. Her daughters (14 and 12 years old) are in Class 10 and Class 9, while the son, 10, is in Class 5.

Buddhadeb, 46, helps with the designs of the mekhela-chadors. Jonali sells her products at a stall she has in the local market. She is now in her third loan cycle, with a total loan of Rs 30,000.

Published on Jul 24, 2021 | Updated on Apr 13, 2022