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Financial inclusion stands for ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit when needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low-income groups at an affordable cost. It is often considered as a critical element that makes growth inclusive as access to finance can enable economic agents to make longer term consumption and investment decisions, participate in productive activities, and cope with unexpected short-term shocks. The importance of financial inclusion is that it creates a platform for inculcating the habit to save money, provide formal credit avenues, to plug the gaps and leaks in public subsidies social welfare program. Long years of working with the village women flock have revealed the fact that the key barriers to women’s economic empowerment. On the demand side, not surprisingly, rural women have low levels of access to formal finance which coupled with low levels of literacy and numeracy prevent them from achieving their economic potential. On the supply side, financial service providers had not yet developed a solid business case for extending services to savings groups. Even after 70 years of independence, a large section of Indian population still remains unbanked. This malaise has led generations of financial instability and pauperism among the lower income group who do not have access to financial products and services. Hence despite the rapid development and economic expansion, poverty and income inequality remain a determined challenge in India.

All these aspects has been given keen importance and therefore DISA facilitated and mentored the Self-help Groups in the villages for the financial Inclusion economic empowerment in four Blocks. These SHGs have their regular monthly meetings, regular savings, inter-loaning and income generating activities, under the guidance of the staff of DISA. The leaders of these Groups shoulder responsibilities for the above mentioned activities. The work and progress in a nutshell is given as follows. The attendance in meetings is 87.65 %. 113 Groups out of 191 are able to conduct the meetings by themselves without the help of facilitators. 53 Groups maintains their records by themselves. 105 new members were learnt to write their own names and put sign. 54 Groups increased their monthly savings from Rs.30 to Rs. 50/60/70 up to 100. 7 Groups have decided to use Cheques for transactions. Trainings were provided for the leaders of SHGs and facilitators on different topics such as Leadership and Micro Planning etc…

The details of the SHGs Block wise:

Particulars Sadar Block Harraiya Block Mithaval Block Ikauna Block Total
Total SHGs as on March 2017 65 46 53 27 191
Total No of Members on March 2017 836 616 660 425 2537
Total Savings till March 2017 20,83,832/- 21,45,557/- 22,820/- 94,350/- 43,46,559/-
Interest received till March 2017 5,52,656/- 8,65,232/- 3,473/- 2,982/- 14,24,343/-
Inter-loaning to members 44,24,597/- 32,16,512/- 5,82,621/- 74,430/- 82,98,160/-
Loan Returned 30,02,342/- 28,06,034/- 3,650/- 25,040/- 58,37,066/-

Case Study

The success of one group creates seven

Proper funding and timely financial aid can bring even the poor people to the main stream of society. However, usually nobody helps them and if helped, would find it as an opportunity to take away what they already have in the name of huge interest. Here is the example of how Self Help Groups help such helpless women.

Dr. Ambedkar Self-help group in Bhanja village of Kaphtangung block is a typical example in this regard. There are 12 women joined in this group. These women deposited Rs. 20 in the beginning as their monthly saving. But in course of time they increased the amount to 30 and at present they are depositing Rs 50 per month. These women received training and with the help of DISA organisation and they were enrolled in National Rural Livelihood Mission. From the mission they got Rs. 15000 in the form of rolling fund and Rs 50,000 in the form of loan.

Husband of the member Sumitra Devi was a skilled worker in carpentry. Sumitra devi proposed in the meeting that she would open a furniture shop if she gets a loan. She got the loan as per the rules and regulations of the group and Sumitra Devi started the furniture shop. The skill of her husband and the quality of his work spread the news about the Self-Help group in the nearby villages too. Not only he became successful but also, he could give employment to 4 more men who are the husbands of members of the group. Sumitra Devi has now started repaying the loan. Success of this Self-Help group gave birth to another 7 more Self Help groups in the village.