Shake off your problems 

Well, this is not only a short story but also something else. Spare some time to read Nilavva’s real life story who shared this with us. Nilavva Yallappa Mutagi, is our customer, aged 48yrs resident of Kamadenu, There are 2 members in the family Nilavva & her granddaughter Kalavati. Nilavva is basically uneducated & married Mr.Yallappa from Belavantara village in early age both were happy with the married life. One bad day when they were working in the farm Nilavva’s leg was bitten by a snake. But poison not affected immediately as Nilavva was 4months pregnant by that time.Nilavva parents took her to Kamadenu for delivery during 6months of her pregnancy & she had given birth to girl baby. When baby was 1 month old Nilavva started facing problem with her leg for snake bite which happened with her months back. Same time her husband married another girl. Nilavva spent nearly 9 years in KMC hospital, Hubli for leg treatment but nothing got solved doctor suggested to cut the leg permanently for which Nilavva was not ready. Slowly her brothers also started neglecting to take further responsibility of her. She came out of the family with her baby & started staying in the village temple for 5months, with the help of villagers’meal she used to run her day today life. By seeing her leg pain villager decided to help her further treatment but the option was again she need to go for artificial leg. 


Nilavva lost hope for living but listening to villagers & doctors she finally operated with artificial leg.Nilavva became bit confident with her leg & thought herself why wasting time in always thinking about my problems? I can also lead my life happily & show my husband that am happier than before. She learnt tailoring & approached NGO for sewing machine, received 30-40 land from govt. With the financial support from govt subsidy & MFI loan she constructed house in half of the site. With the maximum support from Govt,NGO & MFI facilities she was able to manage her family expenses.

After a year’s her daughter got married but due to dowry problem she committed suicide living 3 children(Yallappa 5yrs,Kalavati 2yrs & Nagaraj 6months) when family not ready for these children responsibility Nilavva decided to take Kalvati where her son in-law taken Yallappa's responsibility & Nagaraj(6 month old) baby been adopted by neighbor village high school teacher.

At present Kalavati (14yr) staying with her grandmother(Nilavva) pursuing her high school education with the help Nilavva.Lot more problem in the life brought learning & change in Nilavva life for each step she lost hope but stepped forward always with confident

Today she is live example for a villager (Especially widow, Separated & unmarried women) who is desperate. When we met her she is very active & doing multiple tasks with one artificial leg like tailoring, Baskets weaving, Hand craft (Kasuti), being uneducated she is earning commission by acting as an agent for insurance, earning small amount of money by helping villagers in getting widow/old age pension not only this, with the help of her contacts she is helping villagers hospital assistance (like Where to go, how to go, whom to meet in the hospital) etc.

After receiving benefits from Govt,NGO,MFI, insurance company (Plot, sanitary facility, sewing machine, finance support, mobile phone) she is expecting handicap bike from the people who is really interested into help her for further. This bike will help her in doing activities quickly. She is aiming to construct the house in other half land with the help of govt subsidy or MFI loan in earning further income from letting it for rent.In the age of 48 Nilavva is more interested to take skill based training which will help her to make the products which she can easily combine with her tailoring business to earn some more profit.

Nilavva Mutagi


Flag making activity


This is not a usual article: here the Chaitanya client is only an employee. So the article is about the whole business in general.

Ishwar Itagi, 49 years old, is the owner of this flag making business in the village of Garag. His wife is a teacher while their 3 children are students. 

His family started making flags in the year of 1956 with an initial investment of 65 lacs (6, 5 million rupees), and with the support of the KVIC (Khadi and Village and Industries Commission). 

Early on the activity was restricted to only make ISI (Indian Standard Institution, a quality label) marked flag, or flag clothes. But now the same unit is also making khadi  items such as lungis, hankies, towels etc.

They are the only ones making this activity with 2 units in the Garag village, and they also have other units elsewhere : Tadkod, Khanapur, Kotabagi, etc. 

They have an aim of no profit no loss : the goal is to provide employment opportunities to rural people, local ladies including Chaitanya clients, and make the nominal profit to cover its costs. Not earn more profit. 

His employees are at 99% women.

Production steps

The main raw materials are maida, gum, oil and cotton which are supplied by the KVIC and the Chitradurga labour plant. 

The process starts by converting cotton into thread with handloom machine. Then warping, drying and rewinding. Afterward, they make the bobins , then the doles, and finally do the weaving process.

The working hours are from 8am to 6pm, with a lunch break of 1 to 1,5 hours, and the final products are shipped all over India. 

Economics of the activity

Here are presented the daily material costs for each part of the production process:

a)  Thread making : 5 rupees for 1 bundle of 500 meters, and they use 15 of them daily. 15 members are working on it.
b)    Bobin rewinding : 2.70 per bundle, with 25 bundles. This process is done by 3 persons.  
c)    Bobin making : 1.90 rs per bundle times 70 bundles . 4 villagers are needed for it.
d)   Weaving: 13.5 rs per meter * 10 meters. 40 members are working on that part of the production process. 

Which makes a total cost for the raw materials of 75 + 70.2 + 133 + 135 = 413,2 rupees per day. 


Kava making activity


Channavva Somappa Kurabar, client of Chaitanya, is living in the village of K.K. Koppa

She is doing the kava making activity with the help of her grandmother only since she lost her husband, and  is also working in Anganwadi as a school helper.                        

They are 30 other families involved in this business in her village, and they have been doing it for the past 80 years.            

Production steps

To make kava they boil some milk, using firewood, and stir it regularly for 5 hours off season to produce around 12kg. This corresponds to their daily activity off season. Then they sell it to the Belgaum market at the end of the day.

The conditions of production are quite exhausting, especially due to the heat.  

It is used to make final products such as peda (picture on the left), kunda and jamun (on the right) :

Economics of the activity

50 litters of milk, at 35 rupees the litter, are required to produce 12kg of kava. The costs of this activity are, daily and off season: 50 litters of milk at 35 rupees the litter, so 1750 rupees. And 200 rupees of firewood. Which makes 1950 of cost per day.    

Since they sell each kilograms 180 to 200 rupees, if with take the average of 190, we find that they make every day around 2280 rupees of sales off season.

This daily revenues and costs can be turned into a monthly profit. Multiplying by 30, we get a revenue of 68400 and a cost of 58500 rs, to which we have to add the use of the tools. Indeed, they use a big bowl and a stick, which they change every 3 years and cost respectively 3000 and 500 rs. So we have to add monthly 100 of cost to take that into account, getting then a total cost of 58600. The monthly off season profit is then of 9800 rupees. 

During the season, they double their output, producing around 24kg per day. The daily costs and revenues are then doubled: 3900 of cost and 4560 of revenue. Monthly, we have a profit of 19700 rupees. 

Yearly then, the profit is of 9800*8 + 19700*4 = 157 200. 

But it is not their only source of revenues: they get 2500 per month as a helper and 500 of pension so 7200 per month of total income. 

Per year then, when we add up all the revenues it makes in total around 243 6000 rupees.

The 25000 rupees loan taken in May 2015 was used to buy the milk and firewood in advance. This isa common need for loans in many activities.  


Saree making activity


The client, Mahadevi Sidappa Bagana, 28 yo, is involved with her husband in the saree making business in Sulebhavi.
It has been a continued activity for 25 years, which is the only source of income for this family of four, having one son and a daughter who are both students. It is one of the main activity of this small village, with 500 to 600 families engaged in it.

Production steps 

They have 3 machines which they use to make the sarees, as we can see in the video. They own them entirely except for one part, the dole which is a crucial part of the machine (see photo). 

They have to borrow it, as well as the raw materials, to make the sarees. The person that provide it in exchange buy their sarees at a fixed price. 

This is an example of proto-industry: they own the machines (except the dole) but they don’t buy the raw materials: they get it and sell the sarees to the same person who furnishes them. He sells them after to the local markets of Belgaum and Ramdarg.

Daily, a machine can weave 3 sarees, and it is done every day.

Economics of the activity

Here are their costs of production: 
- 500 rupees of electricity per month. 
- 200 rupees of monthly repair cost. 
- 3 litters of oil (1 per machine) per month, at 200 rupees the litter.

For the raw materials, they need 30kg of thread, at 400 rupees the kg, to make 115 sarees in average, depending on which material. That’s the part of the cost they don’t pay, it is supplied to them.

So the costs per month are 500 (electricity) + 200 (repair) + 600 (oil) = 1300 rupees. 

For the revenues: with 115 polyester sarees they get 7500 and 10 000 rupees for the cotton ones.

Since they have a daily production of 9 sarees, they make around 270 sarees per month. From those 270 sarees, if we split in half the production between polyester and cotton, we get 11739 rs of revenue for the former and 8804 for the latter. The monthly revenue is then something around 20183 rupees. 

Revenue minus cost makes 18 883 rs of profit, so 226596 rupees per year for the household in total, having no other source of revenues.

Finally, they used the February 2015 loan of 15000 rupees to purchase machine materials. 


Pot making activity


The client here is Puthalabai Suresh Kumbar, a 45 year old woman living in the Gaarlagunji village.

She has been doing this activity for 40 years with the help of her husband and her son, among 800 other families in this village.       

Production steps        

It starts by putting the mud on the wheel, that someone actionnates on the other side to make it turn. Using their hands, they shape the mud to create different pots. The next step is to even the surface by tapping on it and to heat it to get the final product. Sometimes they decorate them with paint afterwards. 


The production time varies according to the person using the wheel and which pot they make. They work from 7 to 10 in the morning, and 5 to 8 in the evening, every day of every months. 

They store their pots in a shed and sell them at various places (Goa, Kollapur, Nippaw, Belgaum…).

Economics of the activity   


Monthly, they use:             

- 3 tractors of mud, at 3000/4000 rs the tractor            

- 3000-4000 rupees of firewood       

- 2000 to 3000 rupees of colour shade           

- 800 of electricity 

- Around 21 000 rs of labour (they use 2 to 3 workers, and pay them 300 rs per day).       
- 50 000 rupees of shed to store the pots       
- Thousands on transportation costs, varying where they sell their products (7000 to Goa, 5000 for Nippaw, etc).      
- Each wheel costs 15 000 rs, and their replacement takes place every 3 years. They have 3 wheels but they don’t use all of them every day, it depends on the number of workers.      

After taking all those costs into account, they make a profit above 15000 off season, and around 20000-25000 rupees during Deepavali, Sanrranti and the Ganesh festival. Which makes around 200 000 roupies per year for the household, which is their only revenue. 

The Chaitanya loan was taken on March 2015 to purchase raw materials.


Sweet making activity


Maheshwari Barman Karkuswamy is a 50 year old woman living in M.K. Hubli, located 50km from Dharwad.
Her household, her husband and their three grown up children (28,29 and 30 yo) all working in this business, is the only one there involved in the activity of making sweets, and have been so for 25 years.

Production steps

For Rasculla (red ones) and Balusha : 

The day before they prepare the materials to help get the products done the next day. They knead maida with east powder, salt, colour, etc. It has to be kept the whole night to get the raw products. 

Then, once then maida flour is ready, the mixture is cut into small pieces using a tool designed for it. 

Afterwards it is fried until they get well fried Rasculla and Balusha. Next step is the drying process and finally it is supplied with good packaging. 

For the chakkulis (two types): 

They start the kneading process for making Chakkulis with the help of besan, water, jeera, ajwan, soda powder and salt. After is has been fried, it also gets dried and supplied to the different markets.
They work from 8 am to 5 pm, 6 days a week, 10 months a year. 

Economics of the activity

Here is a chart describing the weekly costs of the activity:

They sell bags of 20 sweets 20 rupees, and sell 900 of them per day. Making a revenue of 18 000 and a weekly one of 108 000 rs. Their weekly profit is then around 10 000 rupees. Which makes around 430 000 of rs per year (since it is a 10 months activity), which is their only income. 


Agricultural activities


Iramma Rudrappa Patil, 60 years old, is an old client of Chaitanya, living in the village of Pattihal.

Her family counts 11 members: 5 small kids and all 6 other members involved in those agricultural activities. As the client’s family is focussing on many activities onto a single land, they are shifting from old to advanced agricultural technologies. They are also involved in dairy farming, small poultry farming, etc.

70% of the village is focussing on traditional agriculture, while 2 families do poultry farming, 3 families dairy farming, and 2 families (them included) are engaged in modern agriculture. Agriculture has been the main activity nearly for 100 years and other activities started those last 10 years. The two sons are thinking about using more technologies for agricultural activities in the future and also improving poultry and dairy farming activities. 

Production steps 

They are producing biogas from the dung of their cows. To do so, they mixt it with water and channel it into fermentation pits. It is a useful way of having free sustainable power all year round. Here is a picture summarizing the whole process:

Economics of the activity

The costs vary from one crop to another and the different activities. Soybean, Maize and Cotton are produced 4 months per year while the Sugar Cane activity takes place all year long.
Here is a chart describing the costs and profits:

Yearly profit then is of 268 000 rupees thanks to the agricultural activities.

They took two loans from Chaitanya, in 2011 and 2012. The first one was for agricultural purpose while the second one was to purchase ox. 

The profit of this activity is around 16500 per month, with the main season being from March to May. 


Roti making activity


Mahadevi Karikatti, 36 years old, lives in the Tadkod village with her husband and her 4 children. All of them are students and the eldest is also helping in the tailoring activity. 
They are the only family involved in this activity in Tadkod, and has been from the last 5 years. 
However it is not their main activity, they have been involved in the tailoring business for a longer time. 

Production steps

All the family is engaged in the roti making, plus two outside workers.

The process of roti making is described as such: 

First they have to prepare the raw material, the jawar. After mixing it with some flour and salt, they boil the preparation. When it is ready they work the texture with their hands to make it more compact. Next it is compressed with a rolling pin to get a circled shape. Then they apply a bit of oil to prevent it from sticking, put it between two plastic sheets, and in a machine that stretches it to its final form. Finally, the only thing left is to fry it.

Economics of the activity

The machine costs 22 000, but was a one-time investment.

Electricity: 1000-1500 per month Plastic paper: 25 rs per paper, which can be used for 7000 rotis.
Labour: 100 rs per day off season, and 150 during the season. They are 2 of them.
Finally, other materials that cost 1500 to 2000 per month.

The profit of this activity is around 16500 per month, with the main season being from March to May.


Broom making activity


Bhajantri Hema Laxman is a Chaitanya client who lives in Sulebhavi with her husband, their two children and her mother-in-law.
They have been making brooms for 70-80 years, among other activities such as the band business taken care by the husband, and fruits selling by her in-law. Both she and her husband take care of making the brooms while the mother sells them.

They are not the only ones in the village doing this activity, they are 30 to 40 other families involved in this business. 

Production steps

They make two different brooms, one made of Shindi Gari and the other of Madi (the yellow ones). Those two materials are bought in bulk at one time for the whole year. These are the two raw materials, plus the wire they need to make the brooms out of it. It is a purely hand-made activity, no machines are involved in the process.

They usually work from 10am to 5pm every day. 

Economics of the activity 

The costs are divided into:

  • The Wire, 60 rupees per kilogram, and they can make 100 brooms with one kg.
  • The Shindi Gari, 100 bundles they buy, at 40 rupees the bundle. Plus 1000 rs per year for transportation. So a total yearly cost of 5000 rupees.
  • And the Madi, for 100 bundles per year, it costs them 10 000 rs, transport included. 

They also make Shimbi out of the Madi, which costs them 40 rupees to produce and is sold 50 rs. Their production numbers depends on the clients’ demand.

And for the revenues:

Daily, they make 20 Madi and 30 Shindi Brooms. This broom activity gives them a profit of 5000 per month.
As for the other source of revenues: The band business is done for a season of 2 months, which makes 20 000 rs per year. And the mother-in-law’s fruit business brings back 5000 rs per month, plus her 500 rs pension.

So that makes a yearly income of 146 000 rupees.

The Chaitanya loan of May 2015 was used to buy the raw materials of the broom activity but also helped the band business. 


Bamboo Basketry


The customer
The Chaitanya client here is Medar Mahadevi, a 40 year old woman living in Hiremunavalli, a small village located 50km north of Dharwad.
She is doing the bamboo basket making activity with her husband, and has 3 children who are currently studying. Her grandmother is also living with them, so they are a household of 6 persons. 50 other families are engaged in this activity in this village, and in her case it has been passed from old generations.

Production steps

Baskets of middle size during the production
There are two main steps to make bamboo baskets.

First they scratch the bamboos, which takes 2 hours for one. Then it takes around 1H to make a big one and they make 2-3 per hour small ones. It is a 12 months activity, and they do it every day from 10h30am to 6:30pm. For the little baskets they also add some colours on the top by using colour water. Finally, they sell the baskets to three local markets: Hirebagewadi, Parishwad and Belgaum.

They also do other bamboo products such as bamboo rice sieves to clean the rice, or decorations, etc. Their production numbers depends on the demand of the clients.

Economics of the activity

They are three different bamboo baskets. With one bamboo, which costs 100 rupees each, they can make:
  • 20 Small baskets and sell them each 30 rupees           
  • 3 Medium for 60 rupees and           
  • 2 Large for 70 rupees

For example: they are 2 persons, her husband and herself, doing this activity. In one day, let’s assume they are actually scratching the bamboos and making the baskets for 4 hours each.
In one day, they can : scratch two bamboos (4h) then make a big one (1h), three medium ones (3h), and 2 small ones (one hour).     
The cost for the day is 200 rupees for the bamboos.

The revenue is 310 rupees. So around 110 rupees of profit per day. Let’s multiply that number by 6 (number of days), leaving one day to buy the bamboos and sell them.  And again by 12 to get the profit by year. We get something around 30 000 per year income, which is the annual profit they estimated.     

The only other revenue of the household is the 500 rupees pension per month of the grandmother, making the total income for one year of 36000.

The two loans (22000 and 27000) taken in 2013 and 2014 were used to buy more bamboos, making a 40 000 revenue (before expense).

Final products


Brick Macking Activity


Another Success Story of Kasuri

Kasuri is a resident of Hirevankalkunte village, Koppal District where we have a branch. The village has 800 houses.  Kasuri’s is a four member family with husband and two children. The eldest Chetan is 15 years and Ravikumar is 9 years old. Earlier to 2012, husband Virupakshi was working at a local eatery on daily wages. Kasuri was working as an agricultural labourer. In early 2011, Virupakshi left his job at the local eatery and opened a small road side tea stall due to irregular payments at the local eatery. 

When the couple heard about Chaitanya, they applied for a loan to expand their tea stall into a small eatery. They got a loan of Rs. 12,000 which they used to rent a place and make the initial investment in their eatery business. Business did well, but the owner of place asked them to vacate after 6 months. In a year’s time, Kasuri took another loan of 25,000 from Chaitanya in July 2012. This time the couple took up land from the Panchayat on lease near the government bus stand and invested in setting up their eatery. At the new place, the business did very well. They employ 2 helpers on a daily wage basis in addition to both husband and wife working in the eatery. In early 2014, Kasuri has again taken a 25,000 loan from Chaitanya for further expanding their eatery business. Their family income has gone up from Rs. 3500 a month before they had their own business to Rs. 10,000 a month now after paying all their business expenses.    



Prabhavati is a resident of Madan Bhavi village which is 8 km from our Kittur branch in Dharwad district. The village has 500 houses and about eighty percent of the households work as daily wage labourers at Kittur town and Dharwad city.  Prabhavati’s is a five member family with husband and three children. The eldest son Omprakash is 18 years, he has completed his industrial training and has just got employment since Nov 2013 in a local industry and earns Rs. 5000 a month. He stays with his family and gives his earnings to his mother.  Jyothi, daughter is studying in 12th grade and Deepa the youngest daughter is in 10th grade.  Husband, Yesarappa is a daily wage earner who works in a local diary and earns around Rs. 3500 a month.  The family does not own any land. 

Prabhavati’s story shows us how, it takes perseverance to succeed at a microenterprise and how borrowers have to skillfully manage their finances to succeed. Earlier to 2011, the only source of income for the family was the husband’s and Prabhavati’s daily wage income which was around Rs. 5500 a month in total. Prabhavati was part of the government’s Self help Group (SHG) Stree Shakti Sangha program(this is part of the State Government’s Department of Women and Child Development) and the SHG group members were given exposure and training on starting a home based food industry. After getting the training, Prabhavati’s decided to invest in a chilli grinder machine. Around October 2011, she got a Rs. 15,000 subsidy from the government and a Rs. 15,000 loan through the SHG.  She invested the money in the chilli grinding machine and commercial electricity connection. After starting the business, she realized that it was a seasonal business and her income was limited. After about a year and a half (around Feb 2013), she approached Chaitanya for a 15,000 loan to invest in a rice noodles making machine (popularly called Savige in Kannada). However, due to electricity problems, she had to invest in a diesel generator borrowing an additional Rs. 10,000 from her SHG. Her business improved from then. In Jan 2014, she again approached Chaitanya for further investment in her business, building some civil structure for her existing business, investing in a flour mill and items for a petty shop and borrowed Rs. 25,000. Although the number of machines and businesses look more, she did this to ensure that she would be fully occupied. Now she is fully occupied running her chilli grinding machine, rice noodles machine and flour mill based on seasonal demand as well as attending to her petty shop. She today earns Rs. 6000 a month after paying all her loan installments.


Rudramma - Hirevankalkunte Village

Rudramma is also a resident of Hirevankalkunte village. There are 5 members in her family, her husband and 3 children. Daugther, Rekha(22 years) and Gururaj(21 years) are both working in Bangalore after completing their Industrial Training course. Third son Manjunath(19 years) is doing his industrial training course. Husband, Devappa was employed as a driver until he met with an accident a few years back. As a driver Devappa was earning a monthly income of Rs. 5000. With the wage earnings of her husband affected, Rudramma had to look for employment to run their family. She took a 10,000 Rs. loan from Chaitanya in Nov 2010 and invested in a petty shop. Rudramma was also selling vegetables in the weekly village market. Once Rudramma knew that she would be eligible for another loan she planned to invest in a permanent vegetable selling business and in Dec 2011, she borrowed Rs. 20,000 from Chaitanya for this purpose. In the next year, 2012 she borrowed a further Rs. 25,000 and invested in a tyre repair shop at the same location which her husband would run. Since starting their business, their income has gradually risen from Rs. 5000 a month to around Rs. 10,000 today.