Albert Rani married when she was barely a teen. Today she is 29 years old and has three children. Five years back, in order to supplement the family income, she used to sell milk packets and yoghurt she used to set in small glasses.

photo taken in July 2020

She also worked as a housemaid. Her younger daughters come to Sharana’s Homework Help Centre and her older son at the Drop-In centre on Saturdays. She was identified as a deserving candidate for our Social Entrepreneurship Programme and this January with a loan of 15,000 rupees she opened a petty shop based out of her home in the slum. She continued her work as a housemaid – 2000 rupees a month was a significant addition to the family income.

photo taken in June 2020

Then Covid struck and income came to a standstill. Procurement of material from the wholesale market became unprofitable as the wholesale market started to sell goods at MRP. Her slum became a containment zone very quickly and her employer stopped her work as house maid. Her husband, a daily wage earner became unproductive. After her stock of goods bought pre-Covid was exhausted she was forced to close shop with no alternative income.

photo taken in July 2020

Rani was chosen as a candidate for the programme because she’s shown us many times that she’s a courageous determined woman and she didn’t disappoint. When her shop shut, she consulted her family and decided to go back to her old business of selling milk packets and setting yoghurt and selling the glasses door to door. She’s mindful to buy milk of higher fat percentage for the yoghurt. So early morning her husband gets packets from the main distribution centres inside town and Rani goes in the evening. Revenue is lower but there is revenue. The extent Covid has put lives in disarray is difficult to exaggerate but with the “unlocks” her shop sales are slowly growing. She’s continuing the milk and yoghurt business. She’s worried about her housemaid’s income as she has learnt recently that she has been replaced. But Rani is bold, she’s a real entrepreneur, Sharana is there with her for every innovation she envisages for her business.

photo taken in March 2020- pre-covid

-penned by Mrs. Alo Pal, board member.