Extending Credit to Rural Women: NGO Models from South India
In India, despite government policy directing various credit agencies to give preference to women in extending credit to the poor, women have not benefited. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are important intermediaries which help women gain access to credit and understand financial transactions. This paper assesses the work of two NGOs in South India: IDS and Grama Vikas. It concludes that the Grama Vikas model is the more effective because Grama Vikas' collective programs implemented by the women provide them with practical experience in the management of credit and help them understand financial responsibility. IDS brokers loans for the women from commercial banks and relies on group discussions among women about credit use to inculcate responsibility in them.
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