Woman-led Employment from SHS Lighting

Jin Kumari Soti, 29, is local resident of Galda village development committee – 8, Palpa and affiliated with Andhakarmukti Saving and Credit Cooperative Limited of Palpa district. She has two school-going children. With the help of her husband she is operating a small restaurant business in her house along the road-side. She is active saving member of the cooperative, saving Rs. 120 each month.

Around 1 year back, she heard about the cooperative’s solar loan program and deposited Rs. 2,000 ($23.53) as equity. Andhakarmukti provided her the remaining Rs. 8,000 ($94.12) as loan to install 20 Wp SHS in her restaurant.  She used to pay around Rs 1000 ($ 11.76) per month with the income from the restaurant and recently she paid back the complete SHS loan. Now among other restaurants in this area, her restaurant is busier and clients are attracted to their mainly in evening due to clean lighting from SHS. “After I took the loan from Andhakarmukti and when they installed SHS at my restaurant, my business volume has increased by approximately 30 percent since the previous year” said Ms. Soti. “Before the Andhakarmukti’s SHS program, I used to run my restaurant with some small and polluting kerosene lamps which were risky to my business, and I had to spend almost Rs. 250 ($2.94) per month to purchase kerosene and dry cell battery.” She said. After the restaurant business closes, she goes to bed. The children are now able to study longer after the dinner. . “If my cooperative, Andhakarmukti, had not provided me the SHS loan, I could not afford clean lighting.” Ms. Soti said to the visitors. Due to her quick loan repayment, Andhakarmukti has provided another loan for pig farming.