Maharashtra, it appears, will be the only state where banks will finance women’s self-help at a meagre rate of 4%. The state Cabinet this week conceded to a long-standing demand for cheaper loans from the women’s groups and NGOs. MLC Manda Mhatre who has been running a women’s self help group for several years has welcomed the cabinet decision. Only last week, Supriya Sule, Rajya Sabha member and daughter of Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, who runs an NGO called Yashaswini, had made a similar demand to the state. Rajya Sabha MP Sule said that cheaper loans would be a major boost to around 2.25 lakh women’s self-help groups operating in Maharashtra. And a week later, the government took a final decision announcing that banks finance women’s self-help at a meagre rate of 4%. The decision has been welcome by MLC Manda Mhatre who runs a women’s self help group in Navi Mumbai. MLC Manda Mhatre has given a helping hand to many needy and poor women over the years through her self help group. Speaking to NMTV News she expressed happiness on the historic decision taken by the state. She has also appealed to the state to make a vocational training center for women in every taluka for women empowerment. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi – Archana Tripathi for NMTV News.
September 1, 2006