Education loans and its multiplier effects across generations
Globalization and liberal-ization in the early 90s might have revived the fortunes of many business men in India but not the business women at the lower end, tadalafil who were mainly engaged in self employment activities. The introduction of microfinance gave a new lease of life to those small scale women entrepreneurs and for them it turned out to be a much better alternative.
Unlike small time women entrepreneurs of the 80s who were mostly satisfied with hand-to-mouth kind of existence, pills modern women entrepreneurs driven by microfinance were more ambitious and were a much empowered lot both socially and politically. Thanks to skill development programs, leadership development programs, financial awareness / education programs promoted by microfinance organizations. The kind of training given by MFIs helps the clients in improving their confidence and makes them more active in decision making. A study in Bangladesh showed that Grameen Bank members were 7.5 times more empowered in taking decisions than the comparison group. In other words, empowerment through microfinance is all about helping the clients in taking the right decisions. Likewise, the improved level of literacy, attained through hours of financial awareness / education classes, has contributed to the increased awareness on child education.
The success of Vidya Jyothi loans promoted by ESAF Microfinance to support the educational needs of the children of the clients underscores the aforementioned points. A survey conducted to assess the benefits of those loans revealed that 56% had utilized it for the education of their daughters whereas 46% had utilized it for the education of their sons. Most women were keen to utilize the loan for the child showing more interest in studies and when it comes to exemplifying interest, girl children were clearly head and shoulders above the opposite sex. Likewise, out of the 1380 students in 31 ESAF Child Care Centers in Jharkhand, 742 are girl children. Through ‘Let Them Smile’ project ESAF mobilizes funds for the children’s education.
The most important thing is microfinance not only focuses on holistic empowerment of women members but also makes sure that the future generation of women will belong to the more privileged class of 'educated women'. That's why I believe that microfinance has a multiplier effect that increases its impact by benefiting multiple generations. This surely gives more meaning to the existence of ESAF as a microfinance organization.
K. Paul Thomas
Founder, Chairman & Managing Director