The Mahila Milan Credit Scheme

This is a credit mechanism by Mahila Milan (which means 'women together' in Hindi), a federation of collectives of women pavement dwellers in Bombay, with the assistance of SPARC (Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres). They have designed four programme:

The credit system, entirely self-managed by women pavement dwellers, has the following characteristics:

This system is self-managed on a voluntary basis, and does not therefore entail any financial expenses. The maximum credit granted is approximately 500 rupees (around 20 USD). If they want to obtain more, they would have to join forces.

In view of the fact that there are a very large number of women in this savings and credit system, the movement as a whole has been able to collect sufficient funds to get the national institutions, notably the Housing and and Development and Finance Corporation to treat them as a body through which State credit can be distributed in order to improve living conditions for slum dwellers.

Vincent, Fernand, Alternative Financing, Volume I. Geneva: Development Innovations and Networks (IRED), 1995.

Hari Srinivas -
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