The livelihood program started in 2015 with the online crowdfunding platform Global Giving Winter Gateway Challenge and Tiljala SHED came first. With an initial seed money, Tiljala SHED started rolling the loans to rag pickers. Initially it was very difficult to recover from the beneficiaries. Then we started forming group of women naming CIGs (Credit Interest Groups). We charge a very minimal small interest on loans and started giving away in a group of 5 women. Each women responsible for the loan of other women. Slowly and steadily the network expanded, the loans were getting to recovered from previously 40% to 95%. Few grants and support came in from some industrialist and we started rolling the loans faster in groups hoping to recover the full amount. We have now reached a recovery of 98% and still giving training on business development and hand holding. Some loans are paid late if there is some financial problems with the beneficiary, the entire group takes the responsibility and then it is paid off.
Tiljala SHED had previous worked extensively on micro-finance with Trickle Up Foundation, New York for 20 years. Tiljala Shed is using its expertise and experience to implement this program across the areas of operation and many beneficiaries have greatly benefitted by setting up businesses and they can now dream to become a successful entrepreneur. Some have already paid the loans much faster than anticipated and had taken again for the expansion of their business. Tiljala SHED has given them easy access to credit which is not possible from any banks which requires a lot of due diligence and securities. The staff salary is currently supported by Misereor (Germany).
Beauty Training & Empowerment Centre :
The Beauty Training and empowerment centre for girls opened its door in April 2017 with the support from Godrej. Proper infra-structure was built and a modern beauty parlour training centre was opened for providing the skills to the girls who could not complete their education. The objective of the program is to make them self-independent so that they respect in the family. We have a four months training module prepared by Godrej and we have advance training courses for the girls so that they can work in professional beauty parlours. We also have partnership with few beauty salons who can give them internship and later jobs. Many girls prefer to work as a freelance as they tend to earn more than working in a parlour in a fix timetable.
One of our girls Madhu Shaw who belongs to a very conservative Hindu family from Bihar is now earning between Rs.10,000 to 12,000 a month. She was a drop out from the school and was a member of the Gyan Azhar Library. Tiljala SHED staff motivated her to join the course. After much hesitation and fighting with her family, she joined and was the topper of the batch with 95% marks. She is now earning and contributing to the family. Her father sells Sattu on a roadside cart and now she earns much more than her father and she has now equal respect like her brother in the family.
Currently the beauty training centre is partially supported by Concentrix which is an IT company. Currently the seventh and Eighth batch are going on. We have completed 6 batches in total. The classes are held from Monday to Friday in two shifts.