More than 10,000 micro-lending organizations are today providing loans to 25 million poor people throughout the world, most of them women. The number of these organisations grew dramatically during the 1990s, spurred by the notion of 'self-help' and a faith in the creditworthiness and entrepreneurial potential of the poor. But is the current euphoria over micro-credit missing some fundamental questions? Does micro-credit really reach the poorest? Does it really empower women?
As of 2010, the total number of SHGs directly linked to banks stood at 69.53 lakh, with a savings amount of Rs 6,199 crore and loan outstanding of Rs 28,038 crore, according to the recently released ‘Status of Microfinance in India’ report by NABARD
The model adopted in India for disbursing micro-credit to the lower income groups through Self Help Groups (SHGs) will have to be suitably modified if the eight states of the north-east are to be included in financial services, says a recent study
The high interest rates and forced loan recovery practices of micro-finance institutions have been held responsible for the suicide of several farmers in Andhra Pradesh. It is evident that poverty makes good business sense to MFIs, writes Sudhirendar Sharma
NGOs, banks and corporations have benefited from micro-credit at the cost of the poor, says development analyst Dr Sudhirendar Sharma
District officials and Unicef have collaborated on the Integrated Women's Empowerment Programme in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district. More than 800 women's self-help groups have been set up, helping villagers set up dairy and horticulture cooperatives and several other livelihood projects. With their new-found confidence, women are now taking charge of village education and other public services