"Please take your seat. We will finish our work in 10 minutes" said a customer who was keenly looking into a computer screen. “Can you photocopy this for me?” said another customer, coming into the shop. We looked around Sathiya’s Citizen Information Centre. Space management was exhibited very well. The room had 2 computers and a printer at one end with sufficient number of chairs to make her customers comfortable. We could not resist but think that her determination to improve her standard of living has brought her thus far.
"Apologies for the delay. I was designing a birthday card" said Sathiya while taking her seat. Sathiya, being a very energetic and enthusiastic person took up challenges as they came her way. “I live with my husband and my parents – in – law. All of us were dependent on my husband’s catering business for our day – to – day living. Since catering is a seasonal occupation, we found it difficult to make both the ends meet,” she added. This is when Sathiya came to know about Hand in Hand and the microfinance they provide to the most needy and deserving women and joined the Thirumagal Self Help Group in Kanchipuram District. Having prior work experience in a computer centre was an added advantage for her. This gave her the confidence to borrow a loan from Hand in Hand to set up the citizen centre enterprise.
The citizen centre enterprise offers a wide range of services. Photocopying, lamination, binding, designing visiting cards and birthday cards, movie song download onto a mobile are a few to mention in the exhaustive list. “I earn INR 10,000 / month. This is of great help to my family as this is the only regular source of income.”
Apart from the above said activities, the Centre acts as the focal point where the Good Governance Rights Protection Committee (GGRPC) operates. The GGRPC, a Hand in Hand initiative, is a voluntary group from the community that helps in the restoration of basic amenities in the village to making the villagers aware of the schemes they can avail from the Government.
“Through the GGRPC, we have renovated a community toilet in the village, made the District Corporation clean the village drainage through submitting and online petition and helped 15 people from the village get their old age pension,” said Sathiya proudly.