Friday, July 18, 2008

Ear-rings for Goats and Pigs !

Social Welfare Institute is creating history here, in Kumarganj Block of South Dinajpur District! Since the beginning of 2008 we have been working very closely on an experimental basis with 25 select Self Help Groups (besides the 2000 +) groups that we are linked to. We had also arranged for Rs. 100,000 to support these groups through Caritas India. A Working Committee was formed in Feb 2008 with various stakeholders put into it. In March and April the groups were assisted for preparing "economic development projects", along with a clear "Cost Benefit Analysis" and "Knowledge on Break-Even" (Capital Recovery), besides discussions on "Marketing". Seven groups were chosen finally for accessing finance. The Projects were purely based on the principles of Partnership : the group had to place at least 40% of the project, which came from their savings lying idle as "Bank Savings", and the rest of the money ranging between 40% - 60 % was provided by SWI / Caritas India. Bank and Nabard officials supported us in creating impeccable Deed Agreements and other relevant documents. On 16 May, the groups received money into their Bank Accounts through Bank Deposits, and SWI received back the money through "Advance Cheques" on terms and conditions agreed upon.

To be brief, one important thing took place : since livestock rearing is always considered a "risky" business in rural setting, we had insisted on the benefits of Insurance for the goats and pigs that the group members would own. National Insurance Corporation(NIC), cooperated with us. As soon the goats and pigs were purchased, they were checked by the NIC and were all given an ear-ring as a mark of that they are insured! It is so nice to see so many goats and pigs in the villages going around with these NIC provided ear-rings! Already a pig has died.... and the woman Angela Mardi is not worried about it. She has already asked for the claim : Rs. 3000 for the young one! Makes good business sense, indeed! Welcome all of you to see the Goats and Pigs with Ear-rings, and the small revolution that is set in motion!! We need your Support on this More in order to expand it further!!!