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KAMFI Organizes Conference on Microfinance

Kerala Association of Microfinance (KAMFI) in association with ASSOCHAM, Southern chapter, organized a conference on 'Achieving inclusive Growth - Role of MFIs' in Thiruvananthapuram on May 24, 2012. K. C. Joseph, Minister for Rural Development inaugurated the one day workshop held at Hotel Windsor Rajadhani. In his inaugural address the Minister, while replying to a query from the KAMFI Chairman, promised all help to the MFIs, provided they go by the rule of the game and conduct themselves in a transparent manner. He added that the Government was committed to grant benefits to all players on a par with the flagship Kudumbashree poverty alleviation program.

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K.C. Joseph inaugurating the conference

K. Paul Thomas, Chairman KAMFI and Managing Director, ESAF Microfinance during his speech made the request to the State Minister to exempt MFIs from the provisions of the Money Lenders Act as in the case of Nidhi companies and Cooperatives. He added that MFIs are finding it difficult to get bank finance since they are not exempted from the act. The Chairman of KAMFI also requested the State Government to devise a scheme to set apart a share of assistance to each account enrolled under the Swavalambhan National Pension Scheme.

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K. Paul Thomas, Chairman KAMFI and Managing Director ESAF Microfinance, delivering his message

He also cited the case of a few states which have launched their own co-contributory schemes for some specified occupational groups. A prescribed sum would be contributed by the State Governments to the eligible subscribers of the respective State. ESAF Microfinance is one of the few Organizations selected by the Central Government to implement the National Pension Scheme.

M.M. Hassan heading Janasree Mission, also participated in the function.  The former Minister for Information and Parliamentary Affairs opined that Banks should be willing to reduce interest on loans given to MFIs. He also suggested that Government should extend an 'Organizational Grant' along the lines of 'Organizational Expenses' to Co-operative Societies.   Asad Wasi, Director ASSOCHAM Southern Region and E. Najeeb, President, Chamber of Commerce, Thiruvan-anthapuram also spoke on the occasion.  In the afternoon, A. Akbar, Strategic Advisor, ESAF Microfinance led a discussion on the topic ‘Risk related to MFIs’, and R. Prabha, Board Member, ESAF Microfinance led a discussion on the topic ‘Regulatory Guidelines’.

ASSCOHAM Bangalore, KAMFI, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Muthoot Fincorp were the Chief sponsors of the program.

The cherpu exhibition in progress

Actress Kripa and Ramadevi at the function

ESAF Opens 3rd hospital in Palakkad

K. Paul Thomas delivering his message during the inaugural ceremony

ESAF opened its 3rd hospital in Palakkad district on May 10, 2012. The new hospital (earlier known as Balaji Hospital) adjacent to the Municipal Town Hall was inaugurated by Abdul Khudoose, Municipal Chairman. K. Paul Thomas, ESAF Founder and Managing Director, presided over the function. During his presidential address K. Paul Thomas opined that ESAF’s healthcare initiatives were strictly in line with the group’s overall vision of holistic development of the society. He also added that ESAF healthcare was focused on making healthcare affordable to all.

V.S. Sahadevan, opposition leader in Municipality, Dr. K. Raja Gopalan, Rtd. Civil Surgeon, Jacob Samuel, Director, ESAF Healthcare, A. Akbar, Strategic Advisor, ESAF Microfinance, Bosco Joseph, Chief Operating Officer, ESAF Healthcare and Sinoj Baby, Hospital Administrator also spoke on the occasion.

ESAF Hospital and Research Centre, Thachampara, ESAF Ayurveda Hospital, Thachampara, Deenabandhu School of Nursing, Kozhinjampara, ESAF Hospital, Kozhinjampara and ESAF Medical Centre, Vadakkenchery were the other health care initiatives of ESAF in Palakkad district.

Customers call for car free Commercial Street in Bangalore - says ESAF study

Intense motorized traffic in Commercial Street, Bangalore

A survey conducted by ESAF Research and Development team in Bangalore as part of the Livable Cities project revealed that a whopping 75% of customers wanted the Commercial Street to be pedestrian friendly. Out of 385 customers interviewed, 65% wanted safety from vehicles whereas 58% called for pollution free environment. 61% of mall visitors opined that Commercial Street was over crowded. Out of the 370 shops in Commercial street 125 shops participated in the survey. In contrast to the customers’ opinion, 74% shoppers were against the idea of pedestrian-friendly streets. They believed that number of customers visiting the shops would be negatively affected, if cars were not allowed to park or drive along the street. Some merchants were of the belief that no further improvements were required in the Street as it was already delightful.

When asked about the shopping experience at Commercial Street, lack of parking was raised as an issue by only 17% of respondents. This clearly showed that more respondents were worried about the unsafe nature of the street. Most of the merchants interviewed were frequent travelers and had experienced pedestrian streets in the other parts of the world. However, they felt that in India people preferred private vehicles to public transport. But the study concluded that increase in pedestrian traffic could only increase the footfall in shops.

The survey conducted among children in Bangalore emphasized on the need of public transport during school hours and better amenities in schools, parks and playgrounds. ESAF started Livable Cities Program in 2009, with the support of Health Bridge, an NGO based in Canada. The program was launched in the cities of Bangalore and Nagpur. Recently ESAF has started the project in its home ground, Thrissur. (Click here for more details)

ESAF starts walkability survey in Thrissur

A footpath in Thrissur city blocked by passenger cars

As part of livable cities project, ESAF began walkability survey in Thrissur city. For effectively carrying out the survey, roads were divided into different segments after analyzing different intersections and junctions along each section of the road. All together 381 segments were identified; 109 segments in the East, 58 in North, 121 in West and 93 in South. The survey would specifically detail about walkability in each section and segments of the city, and further the entire report of the survey would be submitted to Thrissur Corporation and Transport and City Development departments to bring more pedestrian friendly policies in the city.

FACT FILE

 

As on 30th April 2012

Outreach In Rs.(Mn.) In US$ (Mn)
Group Lending    
Districts 33  
Branches 149  
Centers 27130  
Members 464449  
Active Borrowers 334815  
Gross portfolio Rs 2695.94 $ 51.16
Own portfolio Rs 2183.15 $ 41.43
Managed portfolio Rs 512.79 $ 9.73
Portfolio Distribution    
Income Generation Loan Rs 1999.47 $37.94
Income Generation Loan(2 Year) Rs 594.06 $ 11.27
General Loan Rs 92.20 $ 1.75
VVY Loan Rs 9.21 $ 0.17
Housing Loan Rs 0.99 $ 0.02
Personnel Strength    
Loan Officers 887  
Total Staff 1505  
During the Month    
New Clients 11,929  
Amt. Disbursed Rs 256.93 $ 4.88

Note:- 1$=Rs.49.44