Interest-free Microfinance Hope for Poor Muslims

Monday, March 12, 2012

HYDERABAD: Making headlines in the recent past for crushing interest rates claiming lives of debtors, microfinance is now being offered with a more humane approach. The Human Welfare Foundation will now offer loans in the form of interest-free microfinance to the poor across the country including Hyderabad, said vice president of Jamat-e-Islami Hind Prof K A Siddique Hassan here on Saturday. Hassan is the general secretary of the foundation.

In addition to interest-free loans, a support system for human welfare involving a network of activities focusing on healthcare, protection of civil rights, women’s empowerment, disaster management and encouraging strict adherence to ethics in professions such as medicine is the need of the hour, he noted. “The burden of interest never allows the debtor to extricate himself from the web of interest and loans. Also, Muslims need skills, technical guidance and entrepreneurship apart from financial assistance,” he added.

As part of an initiative entitled Vision 2016, the Human Welfare Foundation (HWF), along with 50 affiliate NGOs, has been implementing around 125 projects in 20 states to establish a support network for human welfare. “The plan aims to bring about the complete upliftment of Indian society. By adopting business models such as musharika (joint venture), mudariba (hire purchase) and qarz-e-hasana (loans with the intention of goodwill), we intend to help the poor. This will be 100% interest free. The NGO Sahulat Microfinance Society intends to achieve justice and plans to remove socio-economic disparities by providing interest free loans thereby bringing about equity for educationally and financially backward section of society. Hyderabad will be the hub of operations in Andhra Pradesh,” said Hassan. There are 15 such microfinancing centres in and around Hyderabad.

Source: The Times of India (link opens in a new window)

Impact Assessment
Base of the Pyramid, microfinance