Gulzaran Mai, a resilient woman of around 45 years, ventured into the bangle-selling profession seven years ago due to financial hardships. Hailing from Basti Chandran Karam Daad Qureshi in District Muzaffargarh, she defied societal norms and embarked on this path to support her family, showcasing remarkable determination.
In a society where women typically don’t contribute financially, Gulzaran fearlessly overcame these societal barriers and became a pillar of support for her household, which comprises her husband, M. Aleem, a daily wage labourer, and six children. Despite her husband’s daily earnings of 200 to 300, the family struggled to make ends meet.
Gulzaran learned about AgahePakistan, an organization providing interest-free loans through the Prime Minister’s Ehsaas program. She decided to take action, applying for a 30,000 Rs. interest-free loan in 12 manageable instalments. With the loan approved, she initiated her bangle-selling business, a timeless tradition in her society. Despite facing criticism from relatives and numerous challenges, Gulzaran remained resolute.
Having successfully completed her first loan cycle, Gulzaran’s determination only grew. She applied for a second loan of 40,000 Rs., which she invested in expanding her business to include a general store. Today, she is on her fourth loan cycle and effectively manages her small bangles shop. Earning a monthly income of 20,000 Rs., she stands beside her husband, working tirelessly to support their family.
Gulzaran attributes her success to AgahePakistan and PPAF, expressing heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity they provided. Through their support, she not only defied societal norms but also became a source of strength during their most challenging times.