As I had reported earlier, we have been working with around 40 people of Ambedkar Nagar of Adamabkakam, Chennai in their rehab process. Three groups of 15 members each, called Roja, Malligai and Mullai have been formed and an apex five member team is in charge. They have called themselves the Ambedkar welfare Group and have managed to open a Bank account in their name , authorizing two of the members to operate the account. The members of Roja, Malligai and Mullai groups have agreed to contribute Rs.200 each every month. They also received 4 applications for loan from amongst the members asking for amounts ranging from Rs.4000 to Rs.5000. Most of the applicants are those who buy and sell fish. In order to first buy, currently they borrow from cut throat money lenders at 5% or more per day, which literally does not leave any scope for capital accumulation and hence they can only trade by borrowing.
As it would take some time for the bank balance to build up enough to provide loans Lokalex, Bhavangels would be providing them with initial capital through matching grants.
We have also started a study centre called Thalir where some question banks have been distributed and coaching by volunteers have started.
We have plans of getting some local enterprises started. These cater to the needs of the people there itself or to the markets outside their locality. We hope to get these things done in a month or two.
Some pictures of the group members and some Law students who were happy receiving the books they had asked for.
– Dr. L. N. Rajaram