A True Example Of Microfinance-Led Development

The villagers were struggling to make the two ends meet and even a three-time meal was a luxury for them. They had to go through endless turmoil to get enough drinking water and to satisfy their hungry babies. Most of them had shelters, but they could be hardly called as secured shelters since the wooden planks and sand blocks gave more than enough room for harsh sun rays and dust to enter inside. Rains were more or less absent; hence they did not have the fear of floods or getting rain-drenched in these crumbling constructions.

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The main occupation of the villagers was farming, poultry, and animal products and with the drought-like condition prevailing since ages, many had migrated to towns in search of other labor-intensive jobs. The leftover population was largely composed of women and children and the skin and boned animals showed the pathetic state of the village. Their traditional occupation of producing food for the human population was not giving anything even to them.

This was when the government-sponsored scheme of providing microfinance to dying businesses and developing rural households came to their rescue. The scheme worked through volunteers and trained farmers.

The entry of new life and new income

The scheme started off by making a census of the population, per capita income, crops cultivated per household, livestock and the individual as well as total yield. The poor picture demanded extensive and quick actions and the first job was to bring in the resources. Water channels were cut and rainwater harvesting helped in the initial steps.

Next step was the most important. Selected individuals from each family were given financial aids, a running bank account and classes from experts on how to spend, save and earn money using agriculture. High-yielding methods were taught and representatives were appointed for door-to-door delivery of funds, materials, and collection of finished products.

In many houses, group efforts were encouraged, where the skills of different farmers cohesively brought diverse products with higher income.

In a short span of six months, the per capita income of each family rose by almost three-fold and sustainable farming became possible with continued monetary support from micro financing institutes. The once arid land has become green, fertile producers of essential food commodities for the bigger human population dwelling in the cities.

Now, the villagers are proudly calling themselves as the microfinance management experts and portray a real example of how microfinance, along with hard work and planning can bear unmatched fruits.