I am 28 year old Rama Lakshmi belonging to the Scheduled Caste category. I am the youngest in my family and my three elder brothers are married and settled in our native village, Muntimadugu of Garladinne Revenue Mandal in Ananthapuram district. My parents, Obulesu and Subbamma were agricultural labourers.
I am physically challenged and didn’t have much hope from life before joining the Self Help Group at Penakacherla, which brought a drastic change in my attitude towards life. I joined RDT’s handicrafts centre at Bathalapalli in 2001 and learnt the art of making of jute products. . It was a great experience and I had acquired reasonably good skills within a period of 12 months that is now providing me with a regular income.
I had a house site at Rudrampeta, a suburb of Ananthapuram on which I have built a semi-permanent shed by investing an amount of Rs.1,00,000 from my savings. I have also purchased 2.75 cents (1197 Sq. Feet) of land in Syndicate Nagar, Ananthapuram with my earnings. With my own money, I have set up the house with domestic utensils and even a fan.
I don’t have any expectations from my brothers and parents since I am financially independent. In fact, now I am liberal in giving gifts to my brothers, their wives and children. Recently I purchased a pair of gold earrings for Rs.15,000 – my first piece of owned jewellery.
Had there been no RDT, my life would have been miserable. RDT not only taught me skills in handicrafts but also infused courage in me. Such support will help a lot of people in becoming economically and mentally stronger to sustain themselves and support others.
“It was exactly when my life was in cross roads RDT stood beside me and created a ray of hope.”