After working as a daily laborer, losing her son, and barely being able to afford necessities to live, Lata Kalaskar chose to rise above the odds. She started a self-help group that encouraged other struggling women. She and six other members pooled together their resources to sell Indian food (namkeen) and eventually were brought to the bank to start a loan.
ICICI bank granted the women a loan to make Indian women economically independent and self-reliant, starting the ‘Self Help Group – Bank Linkage’ program exclusively for women in rural India.
Lata and her family were struggling when her husband’s business shut down, leaving them in financial trouble. While managing this setback, one of her two sons got sick, which left her with no money and no access to medical care, resulting in her son’s death. She lived with her eldest son as she picked up the pieces of her life.
Determined to support her and her family, Lata created a Mahila Bachat Gath, a small savings group for women in her village. Eventually, she saved enough money to start her own business, selling snacks from a handcart with help from her son. Her earnings grew, but her ability to expand the business plateaued. She realized she needed more money to develop her operation even further, which is exactly what happened after she and her group of women visited the ICICI Bank for a loan.
ICICI Bank has a program exclusively for women in rural India called Self Help Group – Bank Linkage. The program offers affordable loans to women-led groups and helps them start or expand their business, promoting entrepreneurship among rural women and helping them earn a sustainable living.
Lata is just one of the over 2.5 million women that ICICI has given assistance to by empowering them and providing loans worth more than 5,000 crores across all locations
Lata purchased machines and raw materials at wholesale prices with her share of the loan. Her production doubled and the rest of the women in her group also did well. After they paid off the first loan, they got a second, bigger loan from ICICI Bank. This gave Lata the ability to buy a van and start selling her namkeen to wholesalers in other places like Mumbai and Nagpur.
After all of her hard work and dedication, Lata is now able to live comfortably with her husband in Watonda village in Maharashtra’s Amravati district. She earned a life of financial stability, security, confidence, and independence, and is a true example of what it means to be a strong, independent woman.
Lata isn’t the only woman benefitting from ICICI Bank’s assistance. Millions of people have been greatly impacted by the bank’s resources, like skill development, digital villages, and education, with the objective of empowering people and transforming lives.
One of the biggest obstacles underprivileged individuals experience is a lack of support from the government, social programs, and others in the community. ICICI Bank is just one example of what these programs can do for people, which is shown through the 17 million underprivileged Indians that are now living better lives because of the initiatives the bank offers.
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