||Name: S.K. Pahima
Age: 25 years old, divorced
Children: Masan Jani, 7 years old; Gau, 5 years old
Hometown: Neredparla, Andhra Pradesh
SKS member since: 2004
Most recent loan: mid-term loan, Rs. 1,945 ($44)
Business: Bicycle shop owner; SKS loan officer
SKS employee since: 2005, Neredparla Center, Bhongir Branch
Pahima was just 21 years old when she divorced her husband and moved with her two small children back to her father’s home. Over the next three years Pahima and her family struggled to make ends meet. Neither she nor her father were working and there were four mouths to feed.
In 2004, Pahima heard that SKS was opening a branch in her village. With her first loan of about
Rs. 7,723 ($175), Pahima purchased five bicycles and opened a cycle rental shop. Pahima charged her neighbors about
Rs. 3 ($0.07) per hour and Rs. 14.5 ($0.33) per day to rent her bicycles. A mid-term loan of
Rs. 1,942 ($44) allowed the purchase of three additional bicycles. Before long, she was making about
Rs. 5,782 ($131) per month. The steady income from her bicycle shop allowed Pahima to support her family for the first time in almost four years.
Early in 2005, Pahima learned that her village’s SKS branch had a job opening. Pahima had completed the tenth grade and was very interested in SKS’s work. She applied for the position and after an intensive interview process, was selected to become an SKS loan officer.
Pahima started working fulltime for SKS in March of 2005. She now manages 20 loan groups which consist of 605 clients and
Rs. 2,833,785 ($64,200) in loans outstanding. “I am extremely thankful for the opportunities SKS has provided me. I was unemployed and divorced when I took my first loan and struggling to support two children. With the income generated from that first loan I was able to get back on my feet and provide for my children. Now as an employee of SKS, I am honored to help other women, just as others helped me.”