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Community Banking on tribal areas Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by venkat, India Feb 6, 2003
Human Rights   Opinions
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Tribal areas are one of the most deprived areas for living. The mere survival in these areas itself is an uphill task. The life in these areas is beyond imagination for city dwellers, who live everyday only through money.

The way of living is more or less akin to the primitive days in most of the areas. The terrain of the area the obsolete and primitive technology coupled with their way of living make the gathering food to satisfy the hunger, a big problem.

In such a deprived kind of living under nourishment and malnutrition is not uncommon.

Though living is such perjury; tribes today are looking towards a new horizon. The developmental initiatives, undertaken by Government and other Non-Governmental Organization are slowly changing the life style in tribal Areas.

The ‘barter system’ is being replaced by ‘monetary’ system at an alarming speed.

Now the tribal households started counting their income and expenses in rupee terms. The ‘Monetary system’ has brought the tribal to a complex and unknown world. He is trying to cope up with the new world with great difficulty.

‘Credit’ is very important in houses which live beyond their incomes or in houses which are unable to generate enough income to meet their genuine needs. Tribal households normally come into the second category of the houses.

Tribal households spend a majority of their income earned on celebrating countless ceremonies and rituals; they practice and believe. Part of the money goes to purchase the liquor, which the men folk are normally accustomed to.

In such a scenario any minor change in the earning or emergency in the family forces the household to run for credit, normally for consumption purposes.

Getting credit for consumption purpose from Government Institutions is totally ruled out. The Government institutions like I.T.D.A., Banks normally lend for developmental purposes only. The N.G.Os also normally lend for developmental purposes only.

However, the need for the credit being very urgent; the tribal normally, is driven to the ubiquitous money lender.

Thus the unaccredited worthy person in the eyes of the formal credit institutions is driven to the informal, omnipotent credit institution. The ‘unaccredited worthy’ person is instantaneously becomes ‘credit worthy’ for the money lender and the loan is generally given without much complex procedure.

Though the processing of the loan is simple, the conditional ties attached to the loan are complex and mind boggling.

1. The rate of interest may range from 36% to 72% per annum.
2. The land of the debtor may be required as a security.
3. The repayment period may be very short etc.

Yet the tribal accepts all these harsh conditions and takes the loans, only for the simple reason that he has no other way to go.

However this institution has to be strengthened for the purposes taking on additional burden of maintaining big amounts and effective recollection of loans. Presently Mahila Sanghams committees deal in small amounts and lend to their members alone.


These groups are the creation of D.R.D.A. These are intended to create additional income for the rural poor. DWCRA groups do not exist in every tribal village. The group is neither cohesive nor deals in credit.


There are certain tribal institutions, which are being contained for years. The villages Patel, Poojari, are some of them. The Rai centre exists for adjudication for petty cases. These institutions are not suitable for meeting credit needs.

These institutions are mostly headed by individuals and they have little experience in credit management.


This is an institution of local self-government. The head Gram Panchayat is elected. This institution is practically oriented and it does not exist in every tribal habitation.

It has neither experience in credit management nor suitable for the credit management.

Thus among the existing institutions in the tribal villages only Mahila committee is suitable for taking up the burden of credit management. But it has to be strengthened to take up additional bigger responsibilities.

The Women in the tribal households, besides coping up with acute shortage of basic amenities like housing, drinking water, sanitation and electricity have to make a substantial contribution to the family income. Illiteracy coupled with poverty makes them an easy target for exploitation.

In this face of all these odds these women have a major part in the responsibility of maintenance and development of the family. Thus the women are more committed towards the development of the family. They do not waste any money for useless needs like gambling, liquor etc., as men folk do.

So any type of credit management institution has to necessarily central around women.

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