Money & Banking

Didi Bank helps rural women in Jharkhand

Press Trust of India Jamshedpur | Updated on June 09, 2011 Published on June 09, 2011

A cooperative bank for women, known among villagers as ‘Didi Bank', has become a success in the remote villages of Jharkhand's West Singhbhum with in a year after it was inaugurated.

The all-women private cooperative bank, registered on July 9, 2009, has a roster of 847 members from 87 self-help groups (SHG) of the total 135 in the block, the Bank Director and Secretary, Ms Beronica Lakra, said.

The bank is run by women and has only women on its board of directors and members, one of the organisers of the bank, Ms Prabha Toppo, said.

Set up with a membership contribution of Rs 125, the bank functions on the 4th and 12th of every month. Each SHG group deposits a minimum of Rs 100 per month, Ms Lakra said.

Its member base is spread over 35 villages while efforts are on to enroll other members of the remaining SHGs. The bank disburses loans through SHGs and it takes responsibility to ensure repayment by members within 10 months, she added.

When asked about the process of recovery of loan, Ms Lakra said the 11-member board of directors go through the application of a member and discuss with the members of the SHG before sanctioning the loan.

The bank charges only Re 1 per Rs 100 as interest, the director said, adding the low interest rate suits the poor background of the members.

The bank also provides an insurance cover for its members at a premium of Rs 100 a year as premium and pays Rs 1,500 in emergency or in case of death of a member in the family.

It also plans to set up some cottage industries to generate employment as the Anandpur block has potential for growth in animal husbandry and forest resources.

However, Ms Lakra regrets the absence of a proper office to function from on a regular basis. “We assemble twice a month at a specific place to discuss banking issues.”

Although, the bank so far has refrained from seeking the State Government's help, it has now decided to approach it for building of infrastructure.

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Published on June 09, 2011
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