Kughali was born in 1976 in a very humble family of 8 siblings, 5 male and 3 female. She is the eldest of the family. She studied in Government Middle School in her village. During day time, she would attend classes and after school she would help her parents in the paddy field. At night she would knit and cross-stitch. The proceeds from the sale of those items would fund in purchasing basic necessities at home. Kughali discontinued her studies after the 9th standard due to extreme poverty and instead got married early.
Her dream of a good married life was shattered by the ill treatment meted out to her by her in-laws. Soon they relocated to an old weathered house where daily wage labour was their main livelihoods. Their poverty worsen as their family size increased. Both had to work to survive. For 2/3 months, her husband would work outstation to provide the basic necessities at home and to look after the family. She worked in the field and during night time, she would weave mekhala(Sorong) and shawls in candle light, and sell them.
With none to rely upon, and unable to bear the extreme poverty, she encouraged her husband to continue his studies so that the higher qualification may fetch him a good job. With her double work shift, he studied and passed his 12th but couldn’t pursue further studies due to family challenges. During theperiodof his studies she faceduntold hardship as she had to provide and care for her family. The pathetic condition of her life drove her to even collect old shoes from the garbage bin, repair and have her children wear it.
LIFE AFTER JOINING SHG.
Before joining SHG she faced several problems which couldn’t be shared with anyone but after joining SHG, today she can address her problems with the support of her fellow SHG members. Much before NRLM interventions, she had joined an SHG along with her friends and neighbours in the year 2005. Initially their monthly savings was Rs.20 each. In 2007 in order to search for her husband’s service/job she took loan of Rs. 50000 from the SHG which was repaid gradually with difficulty after her husband got job.
However, after NRLM intervened in 2014, her life changed drastically. She was selected as one of the women activist and sent to OMPLIS Orvakal, Andhra Pradesh for 30 days immersion and training. Despite the fact that her differently abled son was due for surgery coinciding her OMPLIS training date, her husband encouraged her to go while he took care of the son.
After coming back from the training she has served and is still serving in different capacities. Life still dealt her with atrocities even in this SHG. When she was the president of kuphu- 2 SHG, some members incited hatred towards her leadership amongst the members out of sheer malice. They demeaned her leadership by citing that she does not know how to talk, how to lead people, cursed her andplanned to impeach her from president post. To make matters worse, some leaders insinuated she had brought destruction in the village. However, it was her faith in God and the support of the block staff who counselled and encouraged her on to remain strong and confident for greater good of the community.
She happily recounts “Joining the SHG fold was one of my biggest blessing. I have learned and gained so much after joining SHG and through NRLM. Before joining SHG, I did not know how to talk in public, how to be a leader or how to manage things in times of difficulties but now after joining SHG I have improved in my personal life also. Because of being in the SHG, I have been able to mobilize households into SHGs inmore than 65 villages in 3 blocks under Zunheboto district during the CRP round. And I trained the women in many capacities. Besides trainings, Icould also share my case study in every village and place I visit. Not only that but I could also ownsubstantial assets like – steel almiriah , 2 wooden almiriahs , sofa set, bed,Television, Gas, refrigerator, induction cooker, utensils and other household products. I could also buy a piece of land and constructed a house in the village”
Kughalihas served as VLO president in her village. At present, she is serving as the president of the SAPHENI Block Level Federation at Satakha Block, Zunheboto, Nagaland.
As NRLM has shown the path for improving livelihoods and also their living standard, it is her dreamand desire that she will continue to work for the betterment and upliftment of poor women and to enable them to come out of poverty like she has overcome poverty.
Though she did not studyfurther, through the intervention of NRLM and being a member of SHG and other higher level institutions she is now bold and courageous and able to stand for women’s rights . People are now recognising her good works and respecting her not only in her village but in their area, block level and district as well. She is striving for the welfare of the poor women and encouraging the women folks to join SHG for their better tomorrow.