Project 10 – To support microfinance

Although Chirala is well equipped with banks and lending agencies, these are out of reach of the villagers and often charge excessive interest or have excessive pay back terms.

Microfinance 1

We received advice from a local woman (Dr Sarada Devi) who assists 50 groups of 10 women in the area; she has connections with Oiko Credit, an international organisation that provides finance for small projects.

The concept of Microfinance is to establish groups of 10 women who meet weekly and to form a ‘savings club’ (say, each saves £2 per week) and then they agree unanimously to lend money within the group to enable one or more to borrow and purchase some item or stock to enable them to set up and run their own mini-business that can return profits to the group.  Some ‘seed’ capital (say, £200) enables them start the first business or two.

Additionally they receive health Education and training in marketing and book-keeping. It is a way to empower the women and for them to be mutually supportive. 50 women are now signed up into one of five groups.

Typical requests include:

  • Chili plant production
  • A water pump to aid daily watering
  • food shop
  • bicycle for son
  • egg production

One woman purchased a gas stove and cooking equipment and now provides breakfast and evening meals to local hotels.

Vinay now runs a little savings bank enabling women to save a small amounts (e.g. £15) for their own special needs - husbands do not have access to these savings!

Microfinance 2

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