It all started eight years ago with a $1,000 loan to buy buffaloes. Shahnaz Begum, who had never earned a penny in her life, suddenly had a source of income, a way to educate her children and a newfound voice.
“I have confidence now that, being a woman, I can do something,” she said. Shahnaz’s story was unheard of in parts of Haryana state a decade ago.
In India, just 26 percent of women are employed. And, in the villages of Mewat district, women rarely step out of their homes, let alone start their own business.
Shyam Panchal is a mother of four who runs a dairy with the help of a microfinance loan from the non-governmental organization Deepalaya.
“Before, I couldn’t even go to the bank or talk to anyone, ever since I joined Deepalaya, I can talk to anyone,” she said.
T.K. Mathew co-founded Deepalaya in 1971, originally to educate underprivileged children in New Delhi slums. He says decades of work helped him realize that the community’s economic potential is strongly tied to the empowerment of women.
1.checkered adj. 多变的，变化无常的；多种多样的；多波折的，坎坷的，沉浮的
He' d had a checkered past in the government.
2.microfinance n. 小额信贷；微型金融
That's why microfinance needs private-sector capital.
维基百科解释： Microfinance is usually understood to entail the provision of financial services to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, which lack access to banking and related services due to the high transaction costs associated with serving these client categories. The two main mechanisms for the delivery of financial services to such clients are relationship-based banking for individual entrepreneurs and small businesses; and group-based models, where several entrepreneurs come together to apply for loans and other services as a group.
3.tarnish v. 使生锈；沾污
The political scandal tarnished the reputation of the president.
4.buffalo n. [畜牧][脊椎] 水牛；[脊椎] 野牛
They hallow the buffalo.
5.newfound adj. 新发现的，新得到的
Juliana was brimming over with new-found confidence...
6.step out of 走出，失步；步调不一致
He stepped out of the train at Liverpool.
He's out of step with the rest of us.
维基百科解释: Deepalaya is the largest operating non-governmental organisation (NGO) in India’s national capital state Delhi, working on issues affecting the development of the urban and rural poor in India, with a special focus on children. Deepalaya’s official motive for its existence and work is the slogan ‘Every child deserves a chance’.
8.underprivileged adj. 贫困的；被剥夺基本权力的；社会地位低下的
She worked for the well-being of the underprivileged.
This government believes very strongly in the empowerment of women.