Cutomer Stories


Jayshreeben Sanjaybhai Bande

Umang Lambha - 1RK

Sanjaybhai Bande’s life reflects the lyrics of the song “Musafir hun yaro, na ghar hai na thikana, mujhe chalte jana hai, bas chalte jana hai”. Sanjaybhai, originally a native of the village Kinwat/ Kinhi in the state of Maharashtra, lost his father at a young age – leaving behind a widow and three sons. Although Sanjaybhai’s mother worked on the small piece of land that they owned, they barely managed a subsistence income. The mother could not purchase new clothes or sweets for the young boys the way their neighbors did, and in frustration, would often curse her bad luck and herself.

Although Sanjaybhai was young, he was quite adventurous. The year he was studying in Standard 8, he left his home wearing torn shorts that his mother had patched with a saree patch. Sanjaybhai travelled ticketless to Ahmedabad (Punitnagar/ Vatva) with the objective of earning enough income to meet their needs. Sanjaybhai’s mother was extremely worried about this decision to move to Ahmedabad, primarily in terms of where the young boy would earn, who would employ him, who would give him shelter and what would he eat. However, Jayshreeben says that as the saying goes, “God looks after those who have no one, and God does not let anyone sleep on a hungry stomach”, the move was not too challenging.

Through their community, for Rs. 600 per month, Sanjaybhai managed to get a place to stay where he was served one meal daily. Sometime later, a relative visited Sanjay and gave him shelter as well as a job as a helper to a carpenter for which he was paid a monthly salary of about Rs.2000. A few years later, Sanjaybhai started working as a contract laborer with a company at a salary of Rs.7,500 per month. Sanjaybhai lost his job when the company shifted to Morvi. Sanjaybhai took on a job with his current employer. Now, at the age of 35, he earns Rs.11,000 every month.

Reminiscing about the Sanjaybhai’s financial situation when he married, his wife Jayshree tearfully mentioned that they only had one primus stove and essential pots and pans. At times, the two just had one meal a day and sometimes they just some tea instead of a meal. They also went through times when they did not even have the ingredients for making tea. In fact, once when Jayshreeben’ s brothers visited her, they were shocked to see that the sister who came from a relatively well-off family lived in poverty. They asked her to leave her husband and return home but Jayshreeben did not agree and continued living with her husband. In fact, despite the financially difficult times, she has never worked but has always supported her husband in whatever he does.

The couple and their 4 year old son were living in a one-room rented accommodation in Matrbhumi apartments in Vatva area, paying rent Rs 1500 a month. Their monthly expenditure was around Rs.3000 and they had good neighbors. The couple decided to purchase the house after seeing an advertisement in the newspaper. He was confident about the builder and the scheme and his focus was only on ‘when will I have my own house’. The couple bought the house for Rs.5.50,000 and had taken a loan of Rs.1,00,000 which has already been repaid. Now, the couple that had nothing, own a well-ventilated 1 RK apartment. The house furnishing includes drawers in the kitchen, a unit for keeping footwear, a table, a metal grill entrance door and an RO water filter. Jayshreeben say that we now have our own house, eat well and have a loving family. She reiterates that the house they live in is a “Temple of Love’.

Jayshreeben says that she has no regrets about selling all her gold ornaments since that has resulted in them becoming house owners and thereby freedom from paying rent. She says she can always buy new ornaments but not a new house. In fact, they have no debts currently. Moreover, on Saath’s suggestion, Jayshreeben has started a 20 women’s savings group saving a monthly amount of Rs1000 per month (before Diwali 2015). The Group therefore saves Rs. 20,000 per month, which is available for a member to invest etc.

Jagrutiben Bhupendrabhai Kanubhai Rana

Umang Narol 1,2 - 1RK

Jagrutiben and her husband Bhupendrabhai previously lived in Bareja, with her father-in-law, mother-in-law, three brothers-in-law, one sister-in-law and their two children. 10 years back, Bhupendrabhai, who qualified as a fitter from ITI, moved to Ahmedabad for a job. His wife and two children came to the city with him.

Bhupendrabhai got a job as a fitter in the Ashima Textile Mills at Amraiwadi at a salary of Rs.9000 per month. From the time they moved to Ahmedabad, the family lived in a rented 1 room house in Gordhan Park, Isanpur for which they paid a rent of Rs.900 that increased to Rs. 1,800 and Rs 200 for electricity (9 years). Since the house was of a relation, he did not ask them to leave the house. In those 9 years, the couple and their children developed very good relations with their neighbors and they never had any arguments or differences. Jagrutiben used to work as a cook and also took-up ‘inlay’ work for to bangles and earned around Rs. 3000 to 4000 per month. Since the house was close to the children’s school in Isanpur and her mother’s house (father-mother, 1 brother), she had conveniences of walking her children to school and of leaving them at her mother’s place when required.

About three years back, they learnt about Umang Narol 1-2 when a neighbor showed them a newspaper advertisement. Although the household income was low, the couple risked purchasing this 1RK house for Rs. 5,50,000 because they were fed-up of living in rented accommodation. They got a Rs 4,00,000 loan of 15-year tenure from MHFC and are repaying it with a monthly installment of Rs.5,000). Jagrutiben paid Rs,25,000 to book the house. The down payment of Rs. 1,75,000 was paid for with Jagrutiben’s Rs.45,000 in savings, sale of Jagrutiben’s gold ornaments for Rs.50,000, and Rs.80,000 borrowed from her mother. For the building dastavej, Jagrutiben withdrew Rs.80,000 from her own savings.

They have been living in their new home for the past four months and are extremely happy with their decision. The couple has furnished their home beautifully. The 1 room appears spacious with a bed, a metal wardrobe, a small shrine, a flour mill, LCD TV, a sewing machine, a stone shelf for keeping the children’s school books, etc. The Plaster-of-Paris finishing adds to the well-furnished quality of the house. A stone shelf in the toilet provides additional storage space in the house. Security features/ components added to the house include window, washing area/ balcony and entrance door-grills. A reverse osmosis filter system (RO) in the kitchen ensures that the family gets potable water. The small balcony/washing area has been enclosed with a grill so thy have additional space to stored things. They have also developed very good relations with their neighbors. In fact, they all have exchanged their mobile numbers and call each other whenever they need assistance/ help. When they go shopping, or to the mark et or to visit friends, travel out-of-station etc., they inform the neighbors so that they can look after their house. They also do not have to worry about their children when they go out because they leave the children behind and leave the house keys with neighbors so that they can look after the children. In short, their relationship with the neighbors is like that of a family.

The move to Umang Lambha has resulted in additional transportation expenditure for Bhupendrabhai as well as the children. Bhupendrabhai’s commute has increased from 7 Kms to 11 Kms, resulting in an increase of Rs.500 expenditure for him and Rs 1000 for the children’s commute. Jagrutiben has attended training programme for beauty-parlor, and the computer accounting package Tally at Saath’s Isanpur center. She therefore used to run a small beauty parlour in Amraiwadi. Now, since there are many beauty parlours around Umang Lambha, she gets few customers in her new home. So her monthly income from the beauty parlour is just about Rs.200. She earns an additional Rs.1000 per month for finishing cuffs for shirt-sleeves for a wholesaler from whom her husband gets the raw material. Overall, the family income has therefore increased by Rs 3000 (Rs 2000 increase in husband’s salary, and Rs 1000 for the shirt cuffs). However, the expenditure has increased by Rs, 5,130 (Rs 3300 EMI, Rs 1500 travelling and electricity b ill of Rs 300). Currently, the family makes no savings. Since the expenditure has increased compared to the increase in income. Jagrutiben sees the following benefits and problems re. their decision to move to their own house in Narol.

"But it was my own house, and 4 members of my family are happy for us that is a good thing" The couple dream and plans to save money and purchase a 2RK house in the future

Prakashbhai Malviya

Umang Lambha - 1RK

Prakashbhai moved to Ahmedabad in 2006, that is, 9 years from Jorawar Nagar in Pali District of Rajasthan where he lived with his father, mother and three brothers. Thus, at the age of 23, Prakashbhai started working in Ahmedabad as a carpenter – taking on minor jobs that got him around Rs.5000 to Rs.10,000 per month. Later, Prakashbhai became a contractor and now earns around Rs.25,000 per month.

In 2000, Prakashbhai married Rekhaben – originally from Rajasthan but a resident of Bopal. At the time, Prakashbhai had a total debt of Rs. 175,000 (50,000 marriage related and 1,25,000 of earlier debts). Rekhaben started stitching clothes for which she earned around Rs.5000 per month. With a monthly household income of around Rs.10,000, even though the couple barely managed to meet their basic needs, Rekhaben ensured that some money was saved regularly. With the birth of their daughter and other unexpected expenses, the savings were used up and Rekhaben could not even dream of owning a house in the future.

The couple was renting an AUDA house for Rs.2,500 per month in Vejalpur. Since the house belonged to Prakashbhai’s brother, they did not face other hassles in this house. In 2010, a relative informed the couple about the Umang Lambha affordable housing scheme. Although the couple had very little money, they decided to look at the scheme and what was on offer. On returning from Umang Lambha, Prakashbhai and Rekhaben discussed the very lucrative offer of the affordable homes and felt that it was worth taking a financial risk and purchasing an apartment instead of paying monthly rent. They borrowed some money from a relative and booked a 1RK apartment for Rs.3,30,000 with a Rs.50,000 down payment. They took a loan of Rs.2,40,000 of 20 years tenure and are currently paying a monthly instalment of Rs.2734.

After the move, Rekhaben finds the ‘small’ home equivalent to a palace in a peaceful and loving environment without any worries. The neighbours are very nice and her husband too has been getting more work so his income has increased by about Rs.10,000 so he earns around Rs.20,000 to 25,000 every month. Rekhaben too has continued her stitching work and contributes to the household income as before. Together, they have managed to repay the old debt of Rs.175,000. After moving to Umang Lambha about 30 months back, Rekhaben started a monthly Rs.1000 tiffin/ meal service for 20 persons, and also started saving a small sum regularly. She aspires to build up the savings and purchase a larger house in the future.

Rekhaben feels that the very positive social and financial outcome/ impact of owning their house is commensurate to the high risk they took to purchase it. Not only the couple, but even their relatives had never imagined that they would ever own a house, and that too at such a young age – so despite the fact that they have been living in the house for over 30 months, it is still a dream-like situation for Rekhaben.

Since Prakashbhai is a carpenter, they have added drawers under the kitchen platform and in the room, a table, a shoe-rack and a cupboard. They have also purchased a Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier to have safe potable water. For Diwali in 2015, the couple bought goods, including a gold ring and clothes worth Rs.8000/-

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Design Build Serve (DBS) - incorporated in August 2009 , has been working to establish an efficient, viable, and transparent system for large – scale mass production of houses that are affordable and financed through savings and credit systems accessible to the lower income segments of the population.
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