KERALA

Women's savings society launched

KASARAGOD, OCT. 7. The Gandhi Smaraka Grama Seva Kendram in Karadkka near here has recently launched a rural women's savings society to strengthen the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in villages.

The main objective of the Women's Association for Thrift and Credit, according to the Kendram secretary and veteran Gandhian, P.K. Madhavan Nambiar, is to mobilise funds through small savings of SHGs and lend it to the needy as loans.

A SHG can also take more than one share.

All member-SHGs will have to pay an annual subscription of Rs.2,000, for the next six years.

The SHGs can withdraw their money after 2010, as instalments.

Until then, the Association would utilise the funds for lending out to the SHGs that require loans, on a nominal interest.

Good response

According to Mr. Madhavan Nambiar, the scheme has had good response from the SHGs in the Karadkka and nearby panchayats. The Association has by now amassed a total share worth Rs.3.5 lakhs from 200-odd SHGs. The small but effective savings scheme would also help inculcate a habit of savings among the rural women. It would also help the rural women reduce their dependency on banks for small savings and small loans, he added.

A nine-member committee would administer the Association, having its account with the Mulleriya branch of the Syndicate Bank. The executive committee would verify loan applications and sanction loans from time to time.