Aamara Biswas-Women helping Women through Nano Finance
I came to Michigan to join my husband, Prof. Subhendra D. Mahanti in May 1973. After raising our two children and working as a Programmer Analyst for the City of Lansing, I decided to take early retirement from the job in 1997 to pursue my dream. The dream to go back and work for the less fortunate people of India, which I carried with me the day I left my country in 1973. The desire got stronger with time and also watching the living standard of people from other parts of the world. I come from Orissa, one of the poorest states of India, where more than 80% of population live in the villages. The most difficult part of my dream was to know what exactly I wanted to do and also find my strengths and how I could use them for the benefit of the people. The super cyclone which hit the coastal parts of Orissa in October 1999 provided a path which I had been searching for many years. I enjoy working at the grass root level, especially for the women who live with less than minimum in the villages of Orissa.
It has been long 12 years --- I chose this path with a clean slate without any knowledge of social work, the only passion I always had "doing for others". I was extremely naive about the purpose of my going back to Orissa with a specific dream after a long gap of 25 years. It is not possible for me to express all my thoughts and experiences through my writings. There are images in my mind and even pictures will not justify the feelings. I have learnt so much, from so many people, and from my own experiences, and I am still learning. Doing for others, does not require a degree, it requires experiences, sincerity, true involvement, putting yourself in the same situation, not to be critical, and always to be part of the situation. Color, race, religion, caste, country don't play any role in true social service. Most of the project ideas came to me through the people with whom I work. I am thankful to them for their trust in me. My own belief in God for guiding me to do right things and giving me this wonderful life have brought me this far. I hope and pray that rest of my life will be dedicated for others and I will continue work for the most deprived people of the world. I am also extremely thankful to my friends, relatives, and family members for their financial support towards the projects and their belief in my mission and their trust in me.
The impact of poverty sometimes is so painful and striking that, I pretend to hide my emotions with sense of helpnesses and continue my mission with my own limitations.