How small loans can be made cheaper
What do Shalini Shetty, 29, and Shakila Banu, 30, have in common?
Well, both are entrepreneurs. Shetty is into trading and Banu into catering. Shetty lives in Dakshina Kannada district and Banu at Udupi in Karnataka. Shetty is part of Manjushri and Banu of Shri Lakshmi self-help groups—a financial intermediary composed of local women who save regularly in small quantities and are “linked” to banks for delivery of micro credit.
Both received RuPay cards from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29 October.
After offering prayers at the ancient Lord Manjunatheshwara temple in the coastal Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka, Modi distributed the debit cards at a function of the Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) at Ujire, while launching a campaign called ‘Digitised SHG Member Transaction’.
Shetty and Banu are two of the 1.2 million self-help group members who have received the cards, as the Indian government pushes towards an era of digital currency.
“Our mothers and sisters who live in villages, whether they are educated or not, have taken a pledge. Twelve lakh people have taken a pledge that they will transact their self-help group-related business cashlessly; they will go with digital transaction, with RuPay cards,” Modi said.
Photo courtesy of Simone McCourtie.