Place: Cuddalore State: Tamil Nadu
Thamare Elders Self Help Group promoted by CMNI NGO in Cuddalore, an NGO which provides specialized services to elderly members of the fishermen community, is one among many such groups who is actively involved in activities related to fishing but has no access to credit. Their business is not simple as the members need to enter into an agreement with the boat owners to get a share of the catch, and as such need an initial fund which is cyclical to pay the boat owners. This payment is met by borrowing from the moneylenders whose usurious rates do not allow these fisherwomen to come out of the debt cycle.
The only motivation for these women to continue working is a desire for being economically independent; in order not to depend on their children for their food and medicines and thus do not retire from their job.
Taking the grievances of the fishermen in Cuddalore, CMNI approached NABFINS and subsequently became its partner in January 2012. NABFINS has since lent twice to Thamare Womens SHG of which the first loan was utilized for repaying their debts and the subsequent loan for buying of produce.
Now the members experience higher sales and less traumatic situation to carry on their business. The daughters of the sea as they refer themselves are able to carry their head high with new stride of confidence and self-esteem.
How it benefited:
Though government services consider 60 years as an age at which physical productivity is not considered optimum for economic activity, NABFINS understands that the rural people continue with their livelihoods and have ambitions to be economically active even at such age. While the rest of the world believes to possess a potential credit risk to lend to elders, NABFINS experiences a minimal risk as our strength and trust is reposited in the SHGs and their joint liability.