What was the motivation or defining moment that led to the creation of this innovation? Tell us the story.
In the process of empowerment of women it was realized that access to financial services for women to help them create their own assets and earn livelihood with dignity and confidence was very critical. Starting with the SHG model, DST soon realized that there was a huge unmet demand for credit and the formal financial institutions did not have lending to the urban poor as a priority agenda. The entire national level policy for financial inclusion has been directed towards the rural areas leaving out a huge gap in the urban sector. Financial Federations were promoted to provide the women with an opportunity to start their own community based financial institutions. Starting with one federation with a membership of 100 women, DST soon standardized systems to promote 12 such financial federations across Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad areas covering 13,000 women. This has helped in reducing the dependency of the women on local money lenders who charged exploitative rates of interest.
Please provide a personal bio of the social innovator behind this initiative.
Mrs. Bedi is a Post Graduate in Sociology and Anthropology from University of Pune is the Managing Trustee of DST. She started her career with the State Government Department of Social Welfare and moved on to manage the Oxfam Australian India Programme. She has held this position for 29 years during which period, apart from the programme management, she also undertook small consultations for World Bank, ADB, Aus Aid, Europian Union, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME, Government of India and a few NGO's. She is also the Chairperson of Sa-dhan, and Board Member of VANI, CECOEDECON, GRASSROOTS, and IACD.
b) Do you help the people you serve to buy goods or services using financial innovation? If so, how?
c) Do you help the people you serve to sell goods or services using financial innovation? If so, how?