Kudumbasree poverty eradication mission is a growing tree that continues to shelter women and children of the economically weaker section.
The swelling number of enterprises under the mission and its equally strong membership base are reasons to believe that Kudumbasree has opened a new chapter in community-based approach to tackling poverty.
A senior official of the mission in the district said Ernakulam has 17,231 neighbourhood groups, the basic formation under the Kudumbasree mission. Each NHG comprise 10 to 20 members, who draw up plans for various ventures and raise funds through thrift collection, which is then provided bank linkage for raising money for capital expenditure.
There are 104 Community Development Societies (CDS), the apex of the three-tiered structure, and a total of 2.76 lakh women affiliated to these societies through their neighbourhood groups.
The neighbourhood groups have raised a total of Rs. 105 crore in thrift funds over the years. The loan disbursal has been Rs. 150 crore. Linkage banking has provided loans worth Rs. 53 crore.
The Ernakulam district also boasts of 7,044 micro and tiny enterprises under the Kudumbasree mission. Investments in these enterprises range between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. two lakh.
The units are engaged in activities ranging from running dairy units to selling ornamental fishes. A city bus service under the Maradu CDS; book-binding units in various municipalities; ornaments-making units and processed food units are all among the enterprises that have flourished under the Kudumbasree handholding.