India - Post-Tsunami Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (PTSLP) - December 2020
Fishermen, members of Sri Thilainayaki Amman Thermicol Menavar Munnetra Sangam, float on thermocol fishing rafts at Thathanenthal village of Ramanathapuram District, Tamilnadu.
One of the breaking interventions is the total financial inclusion of fish vending women piloted through fisher federations. With 100% on time repayment, the women have built a strong credit history, which is encouraging banks to finance them with BDC arrangement with fisher federations. The repeat loan cycle with doubling of credit (Rs. 15,000 in first cycle, to Rs.50,000 in third cycle) has been mutually rewarding both for banks and the women with 100% repayment. Opening of individual savings accounts in banks was a major milestone and the women have continued to save individually in bank accounts. The insurance mechanism, where availed, has been very effective since these women are more prone to accidents and deaths. This initiative is being scaled up to town panchayats (local government councils) through the fisher federations. Department of Fisheries can scale up this model through the fisher federations (since standalone JLG formation and linking with banks will be time intensive and will not be sustainable), to bring the fish vending women into the fold of community institutions.
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