Shram Sarathi offers significant advantages for clients over informal moneylenders and contractors. With an interest in the long-term financial stability of clients, the organization works to pull clients out of debt – a debt often time accumulated from former moneylenders as well as encourage planned savings.
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Shram Sarathi’s work has resulted in the direct inclusion of a previously unbanked footloose population. Workers report having gained a sense of dignity, lesser borrowing distress, increased optimism about attaining future financial goals, entrepreneurial confidence and increased participation of women in the family’s financial decisions. Several clients have emerged as role models in their respective communities. Workers who successfully completed the construction of their homes, now express greater confidence in the safety of their families once they have migrated. The ‘distress’ associated with migration therefore has considerably been reduced and financial access has helped in transforming migration into a more secure and dignified process.
With access to and utilization of a mix of Shram Sarathi products, clients experience a range of benefits – a very crucial one being financial empowerment. This has been manifested in different ways: some clients now actively access formal savings and investment avenues, some are more confident about approaching formal service providers while a segment now possesses the ability to set financial goals and plan ahead.
“Even though my son is a migrant and my husband does not stay with me, I am confident that I can repay any loans taken. I have greater faith in myself and I can handle financial matters” – Gesi bai Gameti - Loan Client, Shram Sarathi
44% of loans have been disbursed to long duration and short duration migrant workers whose frequency of return to source is low. Of the total disbursements, 86% migrants belong to tribal households and 56% are unskilled and semi-skilled workers and 61% are daily wage labourers with uncertain incomes and employment.
“There was a time last year, when I was thinking of making my 11yr old son also leave school – but was able to continue due to some assistance by Shram Sarathi. I want to go back to work now and ensure that such a situation never comes.”
Highly tangible impact of Shram Sarathi’s services can be witnessed in the approach of its clients towards ‘starting up’!
Shram Sarathi has financed several micro-enterprises in the region such as kirana stores, motor mechanic shops, tea and snack shops etc. as well as financing purchase of tools for workers wanting to turn into contractors. By driving its clients to start their own business Shram Sarathi has given clients an alternate livelihood option and diversified their income sources.
Clients now possess the confidence to enter a new market and/or set up a new enterprise to earn additional income.
“People in Gogunda come up to me to ask how I bought my rickshaw, where did I get loans from and if they could also receive the benefit of these loans or not. People in my village feel that now that I have a business I will help them also – their behaviour towards me has drastically improved. Earlier people only knew my father, now I have greater visibility.” – Ratan lal Meghwal - Loan Client, Shram Sarathi
Shram Sarathi savings, bank linkages and credit programme have resulted in significant increase in our client’s financial and material capital. Savings programmes have helped clients increase investments, particularly in livestock, silver and banking tools.
Over 60% of the credit disbursed has been utilized to build or strengthen assets such as construction of homes, purchase of agricultural pumps and livestock. The financing of small enterprises run by migrant households has also created new avenues of income for the families.
“Earlier we were unnoticed and invisible – people did not know we exist. Now, because we have a good house, we have an identity!”
– Govardhan Gameti - Loan Client, Shram Sarathi