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HDFC Bank brings change in rural households

Jaipur, Oct 4: Sketching stories of women entrepreneurship across the country, HDFC Bank today achieved yet another milestone by disbursing loan amount under its Sustainable Livelihood Initiative (SLI) to its two millionth beneficiary at Chomu, here. Sajna Devi, a mother of three from Malikpur village in Rajasthan, who became the two millionth beneficiary of the SLI, received the cheque from Managing Director, HDFC Bank, Aditya Puri, at a colourful function here. On the occasion Puri said the banks SLI was a key driver to achieve its broad mandated objective to empower one crore families in unbanked and underbanked locations and bring them into the banking fold. Addressing the media at the function, he said: When we look back, it has been an extremely gratifying journey so far for all of us here at HDFC Bank. We are committed to make one crore women like Sajna Devi economically independent. This translates into five crore Indians. In a country that has 27 crore people living below poverty line, 22 crore of them are living in rural India which is where we are largely focusing. Under SLI, the bank offers micro credit to women in small groups to help them undertake small economic activities for earning sustainable livelihood. Financial empowerment of women has also prompted a positive change in their social well-being. We are pleased to note that to date the bank has been the catalyst for change in the lives of 20 lakh households. The bank continues its efforts to bring the change in the lives of five crore such individuals, Puri said. The amount paid to the women in a group is liquidated by the group in monthly installments. The women are honest in paying back the money. We dont face any problem in getting back our money, Puri said. Manohara Raj, Executive President (Business Head) SLI, HDFC Bank, said: We believe that simply disbursing credit to these individuals will not help bring them out of poverty. Through SLI the bank scripts the change in a rural household from imparting new skills to a participant to ensuring sustainable income, thus making a difference to their lives. Earlier the bank facilitated mediapersons visit to village Basha Kushalpora, near Chomu here where it has been actively working for women entrepreneurship. The bank besides giving credit to the women in groups is also helping in their skill and capacity development by holding training programmes. The women in groups are given need-based training in designing jewelry, handicrafts, embroidery, etc. to enhance their skills. The bank also provides market linkages, wherein the final products like garments, artificial jewelry and other items created by SLI participants are sent directly to shops and establishments in larger towns and cities. All the women open their saving accounts with the bank and are issued ATM cards. We are doing different economic activities to earn livelihood. While some of the women in the group are doing sheep rearing, others are involved in handicraft activities, Swatri, a member of Fateh HBG Fatehpura, said. The women in their new role feel empowered. Whatever we earn is our money. With this money we can ensure better education of our children and improve the financial conditions of our family, Pinto Devi, a beneficiary working in a group said.

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