Ladies discussing MicrofinanceAlthough 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.
The concept is to establish groups of women who meet weekly to form a ‘savings club’ and 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 enables them start the first business or two. They also receive health Education and training in marketing and book-keeping.
Typical requests have funded chilli plant production, water pump to help crop watering, start a food shop, bicycle for a son and for egg production. One woman purchased a gas stove and cooking equipment and now provides breakfast and evening meals locally.
Vinay also runs a savings bank enabling women to save small amounts for their own special needs - husbands do not have access to these savings!