Lamp MFLD Fund for Women
The normal banking system in India is yet to develop an effentive credit infrastructure for the rural women,sepecially those belonging to socio -economically backward classes. These poor and illiterate women fail to meet the official formalities of the banks or financial institution. Often the banks charge a high amount of security deposit ,margin money and provide the creditors with complex and absurd conditions in repayment of loan. In an attempt to overcome these hurdles women fall easy prey to the midlemen who sucks out the little resources these women have . Lack of skill upgradation teaining and future planning have debarred these women from approachjing the banks. For the banks , on the other hand , lack of proper monitoring on the utilization of the loan amount leads to misuse of money by the male members of the creditor’s family which consequently results in low repayment. Closure of credit schemes for the rural women is no novel thing in Indian banking scenario.
To the women, among whom DISHARI works, bank credit is neither available, nor popular for the above reasons.Women are rather afraid of banks and would prefer to go to local Mahajans (money lenders) in crisis, in spite of their high rate of interests. However, in various profit areas women are engaged in different tyoes of paying jobs, such as fishing,day labour ,food and vegetable vending, running of grocery shops or tea stalls, pottery, manual husking, bidi (country cigerette) binding, tailoring and embroidery etc. , the earning from which is often spent in meeting everyday family needs . Those who only do the household chores cannot engage themselves in any productive job as they have no capital to start with. In spite of hard labour , poverty remains a perennial fact in their lives.
However, there are some more entreprenureal women who really want to start some business with the informal skills they have , but here also, lack of professional training stands as a hurdle between bank credit and them . Banks or financial institutes normally do not encourage any unskilled trade financing.And if group financing is a bit easier,individual financing is a hard thing for poor rural women.
Therefore, these are needs of both training and credit facilities at the reach of these women. DISHARI identified these needs at the very early hour while became involved with these women’s empowerment process. One of the priority items in DISHARI’s women’s group action is the formatkion of self-help groups which will intiate and encourage small savings and micro-credit among them. Side by side, it arranged skill training on trades according to the women’s groups choice . Thus various trainings on Dairy, Piggery, Poultry, Mushroom cultivation, Nursery raising of medicinal plants and herbs, jute handicrafts making etc. were imparted ,to the rural women.
Women Self-Help Group Meetings
Category wise members of target groups, benefitted from the MFLD project as on 31st December 2007:
Now, DISHARI’s target is to organise these informal groups so far developed by it into a more formal, and effective way. Involving five poor homogeneous women in skill and capability a small Self Help Group (SHG) is formed.Four or five such SHGs will join to envolve into a Centre. SHGs are then given training on different aspects of thrift, savings and micro-credit by defining group dynamics and building rules which provide the groups with a sound basis . The following Twenty Decisions are at the core of all these rules which the group members always strive to promote.
The Twenty Decisions of LAMP-DISHARI Women’s Federation
- We shall follow and strengthen the six principles of Liberal Association for Movement of People(LAMP) and its Women’s Network-“DISHARI Women’s Federation” (DWF) – the Federation of grassroots level Women’s Action Groups and Self-Help Groups, and also its affiliated organisations namely : Honesty, Discipline, Unity, Courage, Hard Work and Humanity , in all walks of our lives.
- We all shall be literate and shall acquire new technical skills by helping each other, for strengthening our livelihood development process.
- We ourselves shall build up the prosperity of our families. We shall undertake necessary steps for active participation of women and other people of backward communities in all matters related to development of our Society and Country.
- We shall be proud to do physical labour and shall encourage all to undertake physical labour along with intellectual labour.
- We shall not believe in Caste system or any kind of social discrimination based on gender, caste, religion, race or creed. We shall respect all religions / faiths / races / creeds equally.
- We shall plan to keep our families small in order to take care of our children better. We shall also look after our own health for betterment of our families. We shall also take special care of older persons and physically and mentally challenged persons in our families.
- We shall educate both our boy and girl children and shall keep them clean. We shall also earn more to spend for their education and comprehensive development.
- We shall treat our girl children as equal to the boy. We shall promote sisterhood based on gender equality and justice in all walks of our lives.
- We shall actively participate in all productive activities in the fields of agriculture and cottage and small industries. We shall also use the products of the cottage and small industries, as far as possible.
- We all shall protect our nature, environment and forest and during the plantation seasons, we shall plant as many seedlings as possible. Moreover, we shall take action against environmental degradation and Global Warming and in conservation of forests.
- We shall always undertake community health activities to keep all of us healthy. We shall work against smoking, alcoholism, drug abuses, and shall take actions to eradicate T.B., Malaria, Polio, AIDS, Leprosy and all communicable diseases. We shall also build and use sanitary latrines. We shall also take actions to eliminate all kinds of superstitions and stigma, for developing a healthy society.
- We shall not live in dilapidated houses. We shall repair our houses and work towards constructing new houses with smokeless improved chullah and sanitary latrines at the earliest.
- We shall not believe in any kind of superstitions and shall develop scientific awareness. We will practice creative cultural action for developing a healthy society.
- We shall maintain tube-wells and drinking wells in our area and shall take safe drinking water. We shall also build and use sanitary latrines in all our households.
- We shall neither take any dowry at our sons’ wedding, nor shall we give any dowry at our daughters’ wedding. We shall keep our Self-Help Groups(Kendras) free from the curse of dowry and shall not practice child marriage.
- We shall stand against all sorts of violence and harrasment and abuses conducted on women, children and other weaker sections. We shall neither inflict any injustice on anyone, nor shall we allow anyone to do so.
- We shall collectively undertake bigger investments for higher incomes through micro and small enterprises.
- We shall always be ready to help each other. If anyone is in difficulty, we shall help him or her in all respects.
- If we come to know of any breach of discipline in any Self-Help Group (Kendra), we shall also go there and help to restore discipline.
- We shall introduce physical exercise in all our Self-Help Groups (Kendras). We shall also take part in all social activities collectively in all our areas of action.
Impact of the Micro Finance and Livelihood Development Programme :
The project initiative has strengthened the struggles of poor rural and urban women for establishing their rights to education, health care, livelihood development and development of social status and finally the empowerment process of the oppressed and exploited women have been strengthened. The target women have become organized and empowered with income earning capacity. This has ensured their bargaining power to tackle any social injustices towards them. One SHG group in West Chowbaga has destroyed the illegal country liquor-making infrastructure of vested people near Uttar Garumara. Wife beating by the hands of alcoholic husbands has totally stopped at West Chowbaga and partly in Canning and other areas. Some SHG leaders have also involved in the Panchayati Raj system and put their suggestions in the Gram Sabha meetings. In some areas, SHG members feel to contest in the coming panchayat election for ensuring women’s holistic development and empowerment. The money-lenders have become compelled to stop their exploitative business in the target areas. In fact, the SHG women members are too much vocal today in the target areas against such exploitation and convinced other women not to fall under the clutches of money-lenders.
- Total amount of loans outstanding: 21,723,887
- Total number of loans outstanding : 6423
- Number of current borrowers : 6423
- Portfolio at Risk: > 1 day, > 30 days, > 60 days, > 90 days
> 1 Day :10% ; > 30 Days : 1.80%; > 60 Days : 1.50%; > 90 days : 1%
- Repayment rate : 97%
- Write-off ratio : Nil
- Structure loan portfolio (sectoral division)
1. Trading & Small Business :50%
2. Emergency (Medical Needs of SHG Members) :5%
3. House construction for rent business :15%
4. Agriculture :15%
5. Animal Husbandry :5%
6. Purchase of Rickshaw / Van with insurance :2%
7. Land Development / Forestry :1%
8. Sanitary latrine / Tubewell and purchase of other assets etc :1%
9. Interest free Educational for girls :1%
10. Craftswork / Artisan work etc. :5%
- average loan size :Rs.3500/-