India is home to almost one third of the world’s poor (living on an equivalent of less than two dollars a day). Though, many central and state government poverty alleviation programs are active in India, microfinance is critical to financial inclusion at the grass root level. Over the past few decades it has helped reduce poverty, as recipients of microfinance have been able to develop a sustained source of income, thereby, better the standard of living.
The proverb, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’, holds true for the Lioness Club of West Coast, District 323 A2, who run a permeant project that helps empower Adivasi women in a village near Nasik. The club donates sewing machines, sewing kits and cloth sheets, in addition to providing training for the women to learn the craft.
District President Dr. Namita Mishra PMJF inaugurated this permanent project focusing on women empowerment at Mokhada, by handing over cheque of Rs. 25,000/- for the training. This program helps underprivileged women become self-reliant. The beneficiaries are able to generate between Rs. 2,500/- and Rs. 6,000/- per month, which helps provide for the family.
True to its credo of ‘helping where help is needed, the Lions of Kaushambi district in Uttar Pradesh, India, came to the rescue of Istiaq Ahmed. Blind by birth and the eldest of 8 children, Istiaq lived with his parents and siblings in a tiny mud hut. The family worked as farm laborers with even the youngest pulling his own weight.