Savings groups

Many rural development programmes introduced by the Government of India in the 1960’s and 70’s tended to concentrate on small and marginal farmers and less on the landless and lowest income groups. The vacuum was partly filled by national and international NGOs who introduced small-scale poverty alleviation programmes focused on getting small loans to people who otherwise could not get them except through moneylenders.  The loans are operated through a system of micro finance (or micro-credit) with savings groups as the conduits.  This approach has long been recognised by UN, World Bank and many development NGOs as one of the better ways of lifting marginalized people out of poverty.  Since the late ‘90s, NGO micro-credit initiatives in Andhra Pradesh have complemented many of the the Government of Andhra Pradesh’s anti-poverty programmes.  The Divi Seema Foundation is one such charitable NGO.