Mumbai, Mar 8 IBNS | 9 months ago

Private sector bank ICICI Bank on Saturday crossed a milestone of supporting one million women beneficiaries through its programme for Self Help Groups (SHG) which aims at empowering less privileged women to become self-reliant.

SHG is a term used for a group of 10-20 less privileged women, primarily from rural and semi urban areas, who pool their resources on a periodic basis and use this money for income generating activities like cattle and goat rearing, kirana/grocery vending, jewellery making, handicrafts and emergency needs among others.

Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank, handed over a cheque to Manisha Bangar, the one millionth woman beneficiary, in Mumbai on International Women's Day on Saturday.

Bangar, 29 and mother of two, represents Sant Janabai Mahila Swayam Sahaya Bachat Gat from Sheel village in Shahpur, Thane district. Wife of a marginal farmer, Bangar works as an assistant tailor and dreams to set-up her own tailoring shop. She will use part of the loan to buy a new sewing machine and take the first step towards fulfilling her dream.

Speaking at the event, Kochhar said, "I am delighted to announce that the Bank, through its work with SHGs, has touched the families of a million women beneficiaries. This is an important milestone for the Bank and I am happy to commemorate it on International Women's Day. The zeal of these remarkable women inspires us. I believe that the entrepreneurial spirit of these women is the reason for the success of our SHG programme. It urges us to continue funding their dreams and help uplift their families. Over the next year, we intend to double our reach and support over two million women with cumulative loan disbursements of Rs 2,500 crore."

In the last 30 months, ICICI Bank has helped over 70,000 SHGs across 164 districts of seven states. The bank runs the programme through a dedicated pool of 550 employees who look after servicing SHGs spread across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. It is the fastest growing bank in India in the SHG space.

(Posted on 09-03-2014)

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