Fish Vendors’ Incomes Doubled
Forming a cooperative with 100 other fish vendors in Madurai has been life changing for Maria and her two children. Like many fish vendors she used to borrow from money lenders to buy fish wholesale to sell each day on the streets of Madurai in South India. The repayments cut in to any profit and left her trapped in debt.
But now as a co-op member Maria bulk buys fish and makes new dried fish products that have helped her and others double their incomes to over Rs 150 ($3) per day. The co-op members have also formed a credit union so they can loan money amongst themselves and break free of money lenders.
Being part of the co-op and the leadership training provided by our partners the Tamil Nadu Labour Union has given Maria the confidence to petition local government officials for more protection and support for fish vendors, “Being part of this group makes me happy. I don’t have any fear. We are not doing anything wrong, we are just standing up for our rights.”