Micro-Enterprise Promotion

Opportunities for enterprise and access to credit are enabling factors for poverty alleviation, especially for communities trapped in cycles of vulnerability. In Arpana’s target area, land, water, and livestock are the main source of livelihood available to poor people. But with continually diminishing outputs and declining farm sizes, it has become more urgent for the rural population to diversify their avenues of income.  Arpana is promoting micro-enterprise programmes through motivating Self Help Group members to take loans from their SHGs for small businesses. As a result, over 4,700 women in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have taken loans, and are running their small businesses successfully. Most are making incomes far greater than they have ever had before. These include general stores, soap factories, livestock, rice mills, purchase of agricultural equipment, photography, transport, etc. Arpana also organises workshops and in-house training to build women’s capacities for business skills with a view to greater earned incomes.

Tarawati, aged 28 …….overcoming adversity to find success

Tarawati and her husband were landless labourers. Her husband engaged in a business which incurred heavy losses and they were reduced to total penury. Tarawati became a member of the Sita Group in Kutail Gamri Village. From her daily wages she started savings. She participated in entrepreneurial training facilitated by Arpana and then learnt machine embroidery in Karnal.



She took her first loan of Rs.7000/- to buy an embroidery machine. She earned through taking orders, but as the earning was not enough, she set up an embroidery training centre in a neighbouring village. She repaid her loan and took a second loan to buy a buffalo and supplemented earnings through milk sales. She took a third loan to support her husband to purchase a video camera and shop premises in a nearby village. He is now a successful photographer.
Tarawati is illiterate but young, spirited and ready to assume fresh responsibilities with a smiling confidence. She has been elected president of the new federation of groups and is now learning literacy skills.


Bhagwati saw the success of women who were members of SHG’s and also became a member.  Initially, she took a loan of Rs.1,800/- and bought a cycle rickshaw cart so that her husband could sell vegetables in nearby villages. Gradually his earnings rose to Rs.3,000/- per month. Bhagwati repaid her loan and took another of Rs.5,000/- to set up a small shop, from which she earns up to Rs.1,500/- per month.Despite a limited income, her access to credit made it possible for her to take a loan of Rs.15,000/- for her daughter’s marriage, which she is gradually repaying. They have also constructed a properly built room. She has also bought cooking gas and a television, and increased her savings to Rs.100/- per month. She has won the respect and regard of her husband and peers. For Bhagwati and her husband the future is full of promise.




Smt. Seema Devi, of Dubbata self help group, has brought a buffalo after taking a loan of Rs.15,000 from the group. She is supplying the milk in Mangla market and earning Rs.1,800 per month. After saving her money she has constructed a new room for her family and is very happy.These small stories reflect many years of educating and enabling women’s groups on financial management, local governance, advocacy and the necessity of a collective approach and representation. Their persistent follow-up of their petitions accounts for their achievements.




Embroidering a Path to Self Reliance

In the past 30 years, Arpana has trained over 2,500 rural women in Haryana to produce exquisite embroidery. Beneficiaries include women who are not permitted to work outside the home, yet who yearn for some income to ease the lack of financial resources for their families. This has provided much needed help, as well as improving the quality of life in hundreds of impoverished rural families.




Every rupee you spend provides not only a top quality gift to friends and loved ones, but brings hope and succor to a needy woman.





Members of Arpana market these hand embroidered items at Arpana’s shops at;

E-22, Defence Colony,
New Delhi -110024
Tel. : +91-11- 24331136, +91-9871284847
Arpana Shop
Karnal -132037
Tel. : +91-9896303566
Arpana Social Workers Home
7 Model Town,
Karnal -132001
Tel. : +91-184-2265412

Arpana Self Help Group forms successful Milk Cooperative



The Anmol Mahila Dugad Samiti, a women’s self help group from Amritpur Kalan, facilitated by Arpana, is successfully running a milk processing unit in collaboration with the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, with financial and logistical support for the start up from Arpana. This is the first of its kind in Haryana.
The 9 member cooperative successfully sells paneer, gulabjamun, whey-based drinks, desi ghee, and butter through stalls at Arpana, LIC offices and Paccapul area. They regularly supply NDRI hostels in Karnal and also seek orders to supply marriages and other celebrations. They divide the work amongst themselves, earning about Rs.75 per day for 3 hours work.