From Community Learning Action Center (CLAC) to saving and credit co-operative
Mahila Utthan, Chure Samrakshan and Jagaran are three CLACs in the Karnali corridor with only women members, of whom the majority are Dalits. Each CLAC has 25 women from Trishakti, Birendra and Janakalyan CFUGs respectively. In addition to holding regular discussions on key issues, they are doing something very innovative to help CLAC members as well as other groups support their livelihoods. Monthly they are each saving NRs. 20 and the groups are lending this money at a minimum interest rate of 1-2 % per annum to members interested in starting small enterprises. They initiated this practice since the start of the CLACs in March, 2012 in Karnali. At present they have saved a total of NRs 90,000. Mrs. Ranga BK was one of the first women to receive a NRs 3000 loan at a small interest rate of 1% per annum to start pig rearing.
The women of these CLACs are on the way to establishing a saving and credit cooperative from the accumulated amount to ensure access of credit to minimize financial crisis in future.
Forty-six year old Jalpa Bhandari of Mahila Utthan CALC says: “We have gone ahead to establish the Chure Samrakshan saving and credit cooperative and we are on the way to preparing a constitution to register officially in the District Cooperative Office.” Similarly, 58 year old Sita Sanjyal adds that they are trying to make this cooperative a model for others in Karnali to follow.
By Jagadish Bhatta, Hariyo Ban Program, CARE Nepal
Disclaimer: The Hariyo Ban Program is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this article are the responsibility of WWF and CARE Nepal and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.