Nudging Toward Success: Nidhi’s Triumphant Trials

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Posted by: Abhishek Sharma and Lakshmi Soma
Category: Livelihoods and Natural Resources
Nudging Toward Success: Nidhi’s Triumphant Trials

Nidhi Kumari, aged 25, lives in Baheri village of Darbhanga district, Bihar. Married at the timid age of 17, Nidhi was keen on completing her studies, knowing that it was the only way for her to succeed. Her interest in computers led her to pursue an advanced computer course under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKY). Despite her in-laws’ reluctance to allow her a chance to study more, Nidhi remained resilient, and her consistently good scores only proved her mettle.

But all this potential remained unharnessed until JEEViKA (Bihar Rural Livelihood Mission) came in. Nidhi’s mother-in-law worked as a Community Mobilizer, which is how she became aware of Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Whoever said curiosity kills the cat should meet Nidhi because her interest in SHGs led her to incredible success.

Soon after joining her local SHG, she was appointed as a treasurer, responsible for dealing with banks and all their processes, making her confident in transacting with banks independently. She could clearly see her potential and knew there was much more to her than this.

It was then that her selection as a BC Sakhi gave her a chance to act on her realized potential. That was back in April 2017, and her Community Service Provider (CSP) was established then, leading to the most rollercoaster-type trajectory for Nidhi.

JEEViKA helped Nidhi buy equipment such as a micro ATM and furniture for her CSP. They also helped her provide capital as a soft loan so she is not burdened with case requirements typically required to lift off CSP. To attract customers, Nidhi provided her services all day long, especially in emergencies, even at odd hours. This helped members of her community trust her CSP while assisting them to avoid the hassle of standing in long queues at ATMs.

As of June 2019, Nidhi went from earning around INR 1,700 to INR 20,000 every month! She supplements her income by providing non-financial services such as booking tickets, making photocopies, etc. Furthermore, she is a respected member of her community and an inspiration to so many BC Sakhis in the area! The JEEViKA team relies on her to provide hand-holding support to the new batch of BC Sakhis in operating micro ATMs.

When a nudge towards something new is accompanied by ample support, people like Nidhi can achieve close to everything. But the unique thing about Nidhi, in particular, is that she only wants to grow further—having increased her daily transactions to more than 7.5 lakhs per day, she wants to reach out to more institutions to expand her scope further.



Aishwarya Bhatia, Sambodhi 

Author: Abhishek Sharma and Lakshmi Soma