Beginning Of Savings
In 1987, residents of six pavement clusters had just completed a shelter training programme – it was designing shelter alternatives for themselves – and they discovered that their pursuit was not just a physical structure to live in, but a new way of life.Most of the participants of that training were women from those pavement clusters. Their collective explorations, their exchange of ideas and shared experiences created bonding – social and emotional which demanded sustained interaction. No one had to tell any of us to meet each other. It had become such a way of life that we missed it if we did not chat with each other!The first outcome do that intense interaction was the formation of Mahila Milan a federation of these five/six pavement clusters which then proceeded to design various schemes for itself. Some of these schemes were :Formation of proposed Cooperative MILAN NAGAR to seek alternative land.
- Opening accounts in banks to start saving money for their new home.
- Ensuring everyone had a ration card.
- Dealing with problems of crisis such as coping with medical emergencies, dealing with police and many others.
The crisis loans and savings emerged out of our observations, that women would try and remove their savings from the bank every time there was an emergency. In discussions which followed, we all agreed that we must save money for our houses, but we needed another solution for our crisis and immediate need for money.So everyone felt why don’t we all save whatever we have – Rs.1-2 whatever remains after a day of expenses. And pool this together. Whenever any of us have a problem, we can use this money and repay the fund.