All-women bank in rural Assam

December 30th, 2008 - 8:47 pm ICT by ANI  

By Vaschipem Kamodang
Jorhat (Assam),Dec.30 (ANI): The Konoklota Mahila urban co-operative bank Ltd. in Jorhat, Assam is ushering in a new era of rural banking.
Facilitating micro-banking, advancing micro credit and providing micro insurance facilities, the all-women set up here bank here is going all out to make rural women become self-reliant.
The bank recently launched customer service centre at Dhekorgorah under North-west Jorhat Development Block.
With over 2,280 beneficiaries, the bank has disbursed a significant amount of over 210 million rupees as loan. Thirty per cent of the loans were given to Self-Help Groups and other 70 per cent to facilitate women entrepreneurs.
Set-up in 1998 by a group of rural women, the Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd has been operating under a license obtained from Reserve Bank of India since 2000.
The main aim of this bank is to mobilize the rural people, especially women, in utilization of banking services.
Lakhimi Baruah, Managing Director, Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-Operative Bank Limited, Jorhat, said: We have setup this bank for women as facilities provided in other banks are not sufficient enough for women. The ordinary people can”t avail the facilities provided by most leading banks, so we founded the women’’s bank so that ladies can derive maximum benefit out of it.”
Aunima Khound, one bank account holder, Jorhat, said: I have an account in this bank; I am secretary of a women’’s organization. We have taken rupees 300,000 from this bank as a loan for our organization. This bank has provided much assistance to us, and now we can keep our money safely in this bank. We are getting much wanted monetary help from this bank.”
Besides providing finance to over 160 self-help groups, the bank allows a customer to open an account with minimum deposits of 50 to 100 rupees. It has over 10,000 account holders.
Geetanjali, one beneficiary said: I”ve taken Rs. 10,000 loan from Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-Operative Bank. I have just repaid the loan back. I took this loan to support the higher education of my child. But now I have repaid back the loan.”
Assam’’s first all-women bank will facilitate the services meant for beneficiaries under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, old age pension and widow pension schemes and Janani Suraksha Yojana in the near future.
The success of Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd is a milestone in the march towards economic emancipation and self-reliance of women. (ANI)

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