In recent times, microfinance has been proposed as a strategy for self-employment through the promotion of micro-enterprises. It is looked upon as an anti-poverty strategy and an alternative to welfare. A number of initiatives have been taken by the government as part of poverty alleviation programs; by financial institutions including nationalized banks, NABARD, Regional Rural Banks, co-operatives finance institutions; and by civil society organizations and individuals to facilitate the availability of finance in small doses, to promote micro-enterprises for creation of self-employment opportunities at the grass root level.
The national Seminar on Microfinance, Self Employment and Poverty Alleviation, organized by the Department of Economics, University of Mumbai on 17th march 2006, aimed at taking a critical look at the various models which have evolved for providing small credits at the grass root level. It aimed at discussing current issues facing the microfinance movement including the delivery mechanism, the legal framework of operations, the procedure for sanction and disbursement, issues such as interest rates and transaction costs, the impact of microfinance on poverty alleviation and women`s empowerment and such other issues.
The seminar was supported by the Reserve Bank of India, Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), and the State Bank of India (SBI). A publication grant was given by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
The book is a collection of the papers presented at this seminar and the publication of which has been possible by the grant provided by NABARD.
Part I - Delivery (Systems) and Issues
1. The Microfinance Movement: An Assessment
-Padmabhushun V. S. Vyas
2. Microfinance in India: Issues and Challenges
3. Towards Inclusive Rural Financial Services Microfinance in India
4. SBI and its Role in the Microfinance Movement
-A. Ramesh Kumar
5. Debates in Microfinance on Sustainability And Poverty Alleviation
6. Micro-credit Movement in India: a Macro-credit Perspective
-S. L. Shetty
Part II - Gender Dimensions
6. The SHG Movement in South Asia - A Perspective on Empowerment of Women
-T. F. Thekkekara
7. Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment
Part III - Case Studies
8. Reducing Poverty, Creating Livelihood Opportunities Through Environment Regeneration, Micro-credit And Micro-enterprise Development
9. Envisioning the Micro-economy of India through Microfinance and other Non-financial Services: A Study of Mann Deshi Mahila Bank
10. Microfinance for Poverty Reduction - The Dhan Foundation Experience
11. Microfinance and Health for the Poor
-Rajesh Guru Jammy
12. Microfinance-Availability, Accessibility And Utility
-Mohan Das N. K.
13. Microfinance Model of Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM)
Part IV - The Way Ahead.......
14. Microfinance, the Way Ahead......