Rajkumari lives in northern India in a small mud-thatched hut with her husband, four children, two daughters-in-law and grandchildren. She provides for her family by weaving thread. Rajkumari had wanted to put her very small savings aside for future expenses, but without a savings account, she often spent it instead.
When Rajkumari heard about a savings program from Cashpor – Grameen Foundation’s local microfinance partner – she opened an account right away. She was excited to have a safe place to keep her money. Little did she know that her savings account would soon become a matter of life and death.
Rajkumari became very sick with severe pneumonia and had to stay in the hospital for several days. Her family was unable to pay the bills that piled up.
Thankfully, Rajkumari knew she had some money in her savings account. With the IV still attached to her wrist, she traveled on her son’s bicycle to the nearest Cashpor branch and withdrew her entire savings, then borrowed the remaining balance from her neighbor. She was able to pay the hospital to continue her treatment until she fully recovered.
This wouldn’t be the last time Rajkumari’s savings account saved a life. Later that year, Rajkumari’s daughter-in-law realized that her baby, due in just a few weeks, had stopped moving. She rushed to the hospital and learned that she needed an operation to save the baby and herself.
The money in Rajkumari’s savings account again came to the rescue. Her daughter-in-law safely delivered a healthy baby girl. Rajkumari was overjoyed that her small savings account helped save the lives of both her daughter-in-law and new granddaughter.