That was just after the micro-finance ordinance; BASIX ‘s empire looked in jeopardy; which still has not recovered even after 6 years. The man behind the dream, my super senior, Mr. Vijay Mahajan, VM as he is fondly called, woke up to a reality that he had been left with just a handful of people who could respect his though process; and that those who could trust him, had no financial prowess, to bell him out of the situation. But he wanted to assess as to who was on his side and how much he could count on. He was distraught; and could not believe that something like that could befall on him despite such an honest and noble intention of raising people above 2 dollar a day situation!!
I could not explain what divine plan was behind this; but it felt that definitely there was one! I sensed it so vividly. VM allowed himself Rs.120 a day allowance throughout this period of sodh-yatra (explorative journey) and travelled second class. He wanted to know whether he had failed the target group, who were supposed to be benefiting. there was no apparent reason why he suspected it to be so; but I know it was utter despair and the realization of the uphill task which he had to undertake if he had to recover from this debacle.
That prompted me to own one of his idea for lifetime. I didn’t know it would occur in my life but livelihood finance is one of his pet idea which the world knows but is scared to implement. It has the potential to create a vibrant sustainable self reliant community. But very few would have the courage to embrace it.
I am so grateful to the divine that Bandhavgarh was ordained for me so as to prove to my revered super senior that he could never be wrong; and that it is very much possible. Here, therefore, as destiny would have it; I was awarded, by supreme chance, a project named ‘ Bandhavgarh Alternative Livelihood Project’ where I had to implement a superb concept.
So I embarked on my journey, without knowing, what livelihood finance was meant to be. All I understood was, it was fund management towards every necessity of individuals, group interest and community well being..
I had no idea I could make it possible, at the beginning; but here I am, all successful; ready to have another go; may be at some other territory!
I can go back to Bandhavgarh, provided I am totally empowered to take it forward; no interference… from vested interest from my own administration…