We are proud to announce that one month after the completion of our pilot project in Solapur, the first set of repayments followed on August 23rd, 2010.
On 24th July, 2010, Milaap executed its first series of loan disbursements in Solapur, Maharashtra, thereby marking the conclusion of its pilot project. Small loans ranging from Rs. 7000 to 15000 were disbursed to a dozen hand-picked Sakhis based in and around Solapur. The disbursements were overseen by Rajesh Badakh, CEO of Sakhi Samuday Kosh, and Upamanyu Patil, CEO of Sakhi Retail Private limited, both of whom had assisted in vetting both the loan amounts and the selection of the Sakhis.
The actual pilot was announced 3 months ago , in an event held in Singapore. Milaap operatives then set up a blog, onto which was uploaded the profiles of deserving Sakhis, along with their required loan amounts.Thanks to the generosity of all the lenders, Milaap managed to make up the entire loan amount of all the Sakhis combined,in the short space of one month, after which the disbursements were carried out at the SSK office in Solapur.
“The loans have arrived just in time,” said Upamanyu Patil at the SSK office, “the rains bring more water and more power cuts. Thanks to these loans, the Sakhis can sell goods that see rural folk through the difficult monsoons. The monsoon really spikes the demand” Mr. Patil, whose company deals in socially relevant goods, further detailed the milieu in Solapur, in an interview that can be read here .
Each Sakhi was given a detailed form with a notarised stamp, vetted thoroughly by Patil and Badakh, after which everyone, including the Sakhis and Milaap operatives, repaired upstairs for a ceremony of sorts. After a few inaugural speeches from Badakh, Patil, and Sourabh Sharma,co-founder of Milaap, the loan papers were handed out to the Sakhis amidst restrained, but nonetheless celebratory, applause.
A month later, the first repayments followed, lending further confidence to both Milaap members and field operatives. Field operatives are confident that the increased monsoonal demand will ensure a smooth repayment course for all the loans. Our next newsletter will provide more details on the sales figures of SSK's Sakhis.
Shashikala Nadgire receives her loan package