Andal Sakthi, Thirukannapuram (Nannilam)

Purpose of loan: Dairy

Sundharavalli works as an Anganwadi employee in a nearby school and seemed happy to meet me with the field officer. After the brief introduction, we started talking about her daily chores and her married life.

Her husband is a priest in the nearby temple who had retired but continues to do his divine duty. She fondly joked about how fortunate enough she was to have her in-laws home closer to her parent’s home so she doesn’t miss her home a lot. She has a son who works in Chennai and is married. Once we started talking about her cow her mood brightened (I hope you could see the happiness on her face on the mention of the cow) she reminisced into her early memories when she had 6 cows in her house and how much she loved them. She missed them not long until the loan helped her buy a new cow. She also talked about how fondly she used to feed two monkeys that had developed a habit of visiting her home every morning. She used to feed them milk and banana that her husband bought until they stopped visiting after one day. She misses them as well. I was tempted to ask what other animals she loves for which she replied she also had a few regular street dogs and cats that visited her home often.

For Sundharavalli, the loan has not only provided her with a monthly income to sustain her old age but also has helped her grow cows again. She expressed her gratitude for her lenders. She hugged a passing cow on her way and stopped to say that “It doesn’t matter if it is someone else’s cow, I love them all alike”. She wants to have more cows now, probably more than 6 I guess.

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