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Micro credit gains ground in State

By Kabita Duarah

GUWAHATI, May 6 � This is not a big success story but it has earned its worth by inspiring others to follow suit as well as highlighting the immense possibilities of micro credit finance that is gradually gaining a foothold in the State.

Though in the heart of the capital city, this place looks far away what with a wooden rickety bridge connecting it to the outside world. Here in this place called Gossainbari, Beltola, a woman in her mid-forties has demonstrated that business acumen and an iron willed heart is all that is required to improve the pitiful economic condition and also gain credibility.

Renu Nath took the first micro credit amounting Rs 5,000 about three years back from a non-government organisation called Nightingale Charitable Society. She invested it in a tea stall, earned enough dividends to return the loan within a year and was emboldened to take a second loan of Rs 10,000 to expand business that included a shop. She returned this loan too on time.

�After the death of my husband a decade back, I was clueless on how to look after the needs of my four young sons. Then I got hold of my grief as sorrow is only a luxury for underprivileged people like us. I concentrated on starting a business and worked hard to meet the family needs,� reminisced Renu before this reporter.

It was afternoon and the day was sweltering hot. However the trees surrounding Renu�s shop provided respite to all those who came to buy and to this reporter too sitting on a stool.

Talking about her business, her clientele, her children and future plans, Renu informed that she has recently taken a third micro credit of Rs 15,000 from the same organisation and will return the loan within a period of 18 months.

�I am confident that I can go about and emerge the winner. All these years I have learned how to do business and that has given me the courage to take three micro credits,� said Renu. She is planning to further expand her business.

Micro credit is slowly changing the lives of many like Renu who otherwise are not eligible for conventional credit from banks. Poverty, the most concerning issue of a civilised society, can be addressed through this system of micro credit, this is Renu�s faith.

The secretary of the organisation extending credit to Renu, Mantu Nath Sarma said that micro credit was growing in the last few years in the State and that the marginalised section of the society has benefited from it.

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