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4 | Padma: Rural Women — Part 1

By Soumya Mukund, Arpit Paurush and Dharmesh Ba

Short Story:

Padma is a married woman who has been staying in a village near Tumkur for the last five years post her marriage. She lives in a joint family with husband, son and her in-laws. Her husband has recently left the bar cashier job as he took the guarantee for his friend’s loan which was defaulted and her husband was forced to pay the loan amount. Though her husband paid the amount for two months, he was not able to pay further due to lack of funds.

Loan guarantee:
It's a common practice is unsecured lending to guarantee for a borrowers repayment of the loan to the lender (mostly an informal money lender). Under the case where the borrower fails to repay the loan amount, the guaranteer is forced to the pay back the amount to the lender.

Photo Credits: iStockPhoto

Family and Education:

  • After completing her PUC (12th grade), Padma was married and she moved with her husband to a village near Tumkur.
  • Her husband completed his high school and has been working from then on. He is currently in the lookout for a new job.
  • Her daily schedule includes preparing breakfast and packing the lunch for the brother in law in the morning and doing other household chores throughout the day. She takes care of her kid once they return from school.
  • Padma’s Brother in law works in a factory at Tumkur. He is currently managing household expenses by giving a significant amount of his salary to the brother for groceries and bill payments. He keeps Rs. 2000 for his own expense.
  • For two months, Padma had joined a garment factory to support the family financially. However, in two months she had to leave the job because of her health issues.
  • She daily struggles to get the water from the government tap because of the rush at the place. She makes ten rounds in a day and carries the water in the plastic pot.
  • Her son goes to the Anganwadi, where he learns the life skills through games from Aasha workers. He takes his lunch at the Aanganwadi and returns back home by evening 4 PM.

Conversations from the transcript:

S: What does your family comprise off?
P: Mother in law, Father in law, there is a grandmother, my husband, his brother. I have a 4-year-old son.

S: What is your education?
P: I have completed my PUC.

S: Who all are the earning members in the family?
P: My Brother in law goes to the on Kb Cross. My husband uses to work as a bar cashier. It has been a week since he left the job.

S: What was the reason for leaving the job?
P: My husband had taken a guarantee for the loan of his friend. He was not able to repay the loan, so my husband had paid the mortgage for two months, but due to the lack of money at the house, he was not able to pay it further. So he left the job.

S: What are your daily routine looks like?
P: I prepare breakfast in the morning, pay food for my Brother in law for work. Then do household chores and take care of my child after 4. Till four, my child stays at Anganwadi.

Income Streams:

  • Padma’s family’s current source of income is from her brother in law’s job as her husband has left the job of a bar cashier.
  • Her husband is looking for another job as a bar cashier. He has an aspiration to take a bar on a lease. For a business to run a bar, he wants to get a loan.
  • Padma’s father in law grows coconut in the agricultural land. Now they have 50 plants of coconut, and the family is waiting for the price rise to sell the coconut.

Conversation from the transcript:

S: Who all are the earning members in the family?
P: My brother in law goes to the on Kb Cross. My husband uses to work as a bar cashier. It has been a week since he left the job.

S: What was the reason for leaving the job?
P: My husband had taken a guarantee for the loan of his friend. He was not able to repay the loan so my husband had paid the loan for two months, but due to the lack of money at the house, he was not able to pay it further. So he left the job.

S: Do you own a property?
P: No, but we have a small field in which my father in law grows the coconut tree. We have 50 trees. if the rate will increase then we will sell it. Otherwise there will be no profit. The rates are always low.

  • Significant expenses of the house are groceries and other household services bills such as cylinder, electricity, and cable.
  • The total grocery bill for the house is around Rs 7,000 (55.83$), which consists of ration vegetables and gas usage. The total Amount on Ration is Rs.2000 (27.90$), which they buy twice a month after 15 days.
  • Padma's family don't own a refrigerator. They buy vegetables twice a week. Every week they spend Rs 300 (4.18$) on vegetables.
  • The other non-negotiable expense for the house is electricity & cable bill. The electricity bill comes around Rs. 200 per month while the cable bill is Rs 250 per month.
  • The usage of a gas cylinder in the house is occasional, as they want to use the cylinder for two months. If they use it regularly, then it will finish in 1.5 months, which will further affect the budget of the house. The Amount for the gas is Rs. 900 (12.56$).

Conversation from the transcript:

S: What are your monthly expenses?
P: We pay the bill in 1.5 months. we are a lot of people in the house. We do not usually burn the gas. If we use the gas cylinder frequently it will get over in 1.5 months. They charge us Rs. 900 for 2 months.

P: Cable bill comes up to Rs.250 every month. We get ration once in 15 days. It will come up to Rs,2,000. Vegetables are brought every week. It will cost Rs.300. The current bill is within Rs.200 every month. Water is supply through a tanker, I guess water bills are paid to them.

S: What is your major monthly expenses?
P: It has to be household expenses. We are 7 of us. Our meal prepration cost us a lot, the gas cylinders are our biggest expense. Both grocery and gas bill together will come up to around Rs.3,500 in 15 days.

Bank Accounts and card:

  • Everyone in the Padma family had a bank account. The garment factory had opened the Padma’s account when she had started working in the factory for family financial support. Currently, her account doesn’t have any money in it.
  • In Padma’s family, Padma, his husband, and brother in law carry an ARM card while others don’t have an ATM card as they have not requested because of the unavailability of the ATM’s in a village.
  • The usage of the card in the family is limited to withdraw money. The family doesn’t use the other services of the card and digital payment services such as net banking & mobile banking. However, Padma’s husband has used the mobile banking app once because her brother had done the transaction through mobile for an astrologer fee.
  • She is not aware of mobile banking applications and nobody in the house has a credit card.
  • Padma’s husband used to keep the money at the bank when he was working, but now he keeps it in a house due to lack of money and the family doesn’t want to go to the bank to withdraw the money.

Conversation from the transcript:

S: Do you own a bank account?
P: Everybody in our house has one, I had worked in a garment factory for two months, so my account was created, but it doesn’t have any money. It has been two years since I went there.

S: Do you have an Atm card?
P: Yes

S: How do you pay the bills?
P: In the village, many of the transaction happens through cash. We pay the electricity bill at the counter. We pay the cable bill also by money over the door.

S: Does anyone in the family own a credit card?
P: No

Bills and utilities:

  • Padma’s husband pays the bill of electricity over the counter while for the cable TV, an operator comes home to collect the cash.
  • Most of the transactions in the village happen via cash, from purchasing goods to paying bills.
  • Padma’s husband has paid the friends loan for which he took the guarantee. He had paid the mortgage by cash to the bar owner.

Conversation from the transcript:

S: Who pays the bills?
D: Everybody in the house pays the bill in 1.5 months. We are a lot of people in the house. we do not usually burn gas. If we use the gas cylinder to frequently, it will get over in 1.5 months. They charge us Rs. 900 for 2 months. Cable bill comes upto Rs.250 every month. We get ration once in 15 days. It will come upto Rs.2000. Vegetables are brought ever

This interview is broken into two parts. The second part of the interview talks about Padma’s house bills & utilities, investments, loans, insurances, life goals, and ambition.

This interview is broken into two parts. The second part of the interview talks about Padma’s house bills & utilities, investments, loans, insurances, life goals, and ambition.

In meanwhile check our other series called ‘Decoding Bharat’, where we interview people from emerging economies in India.

Credits:

Interviewed and transcribed by
Soumya Mukund

Edited and published for Medium by
Arpit Paurush & Dharmesh Ba

About the research:

This documentation is a result of the in-person interview along with the participants’ consent. The interviews might be conducted in their native languages and translated to English in the best possible way to reach a large audience.

Disclaimer: The names and organisations in this documentation are masked to honour the privacy of the participant.

About D91 labs:

This research was executed and documented by D91 labs. D91 labs is an open-source initiative by setu.co to help Bharat build great fin-tech products. We organize and publish user research, insights, and frameworks for fin-tech in India. Please follow us on medium for more exciting stories and insights on Bharat.

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D91 labs is an open source initiative to help Bharat to build great fintech products. We organise and publish user research, insights and frameworks for fintech in India.

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