Asma Zeba Zaza lives with her two daughters and husband in Basti Gamowala of tehsil and district Muzaffargarh...Read more
Asma Zeba Zaza lives with her two daughters and husband in Basti Gamowala of tehsil and district Muzaffargarh, Punjab. Her husband Muhammad Sajjad is a daily wager and has no sustainable earning source. There were times when he went home empty handed while his children waited for their father to bring food for them.
It was one fortunate day that Asma’s neighbor told her about the Ehsaas Interest Free Loan Programme. An initiative being implemented by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund through its partner organizations under which interest free loans are being provided in more than 100 districts across Pakistan to generate sustainable livelihoods for marginalized people. In Muzaffargarh, these loans are being provided through Mojaz Foundation. Asma visited the office of Mojaz Foundation and met with the loan officer to gather further details. She then discussed the opportunity with her husband and applied for an interest free loan of PKR. 20,000 to buy some cloth and set up a home-based enterprise. Her customers included women in neighbourhood who would visit her regularly to buy unstitched suits from her. Asma managed to establish her enterprise within a year and paid loan instalments comfortably. She then acquired another loan of PKR. 25,000 to add more products to her shop. Each time she paid the instalments she was encouraged to seek another loan to bring further improvement to her shop and meet demands of her growing customers. Asma then sought the next interest free loan of PKR. 30,000/- followed by another interest free loan of PKR. 35,000/- Asma sells a variety of products in her shop that include cloth, buttons and laces and cosmetics. As the sales increased, the household’s income improved which also positively impacted the living conditions of the family.
With her earning Asma has got her daughters admitted in a nearby school and constructed a room in her house which she uses to stock the cloth and manage her business. Asma’s monthly income is PKR. 20,000 which she finds enough to manage all expenses and, also save some for rainy days. “It is not only the feeling of being financially independent that makes me happy but also the way I am treated as role model for other women in the area”, said Asma proudly