What is the Celina Fund?
Alf Bjørseth of Scatec AS, Norway, set up a revolving fund to be managed by the Bagepalli Coolie Sangha in order to provide interest-free loans for Coolie women to buy milch animals and earn an income.
Profile of Women Borrowers
- 27 of them are women headed households; and 36 male headed
- 36 of them belong to SC/ST, 4 to middle castes and 23 are poor people who belong to upper castes
- 12 of them have an average family income of between Rs 6,000 and Rs 12,000; 32 between Rs 12,000 and Rs 18,000; 12 between Rs 18,000 and Rs 24,000; and 6 between Rs 24,000 and Rs 36,000
- 9 are landless families; 29 own less than 2 acres; 18 between 2 and 5 acres; and 7 own more than 5 acres of rain fed dry land
- 13 live in bad houses; 4 in rented houses; and 46 in modest and good houses
Progress to date
The Fund has a capital of Rs 3,064,500. As on 1 May 2016, 65 loans totaling Rs 1,964,402 has been given to as many women to buy crossbred cows. 1296 installments have been repaid, totaling Rs 1,080,005.
An average of Rs 30,221 has been borrowed by each woman. On average, 83% of the loan amount has been used to buy the Crossbred Cow; 18% on Insurance cover; 4% on transport, buckets, chains, etc.; and 5% on fodder and feed concentrates.
Being the poorest of the poor, these women have to be handheld to manage such costly cows. 5 ADATS Extension Workers, one per Taluk, do this through regular field inspections. They are available to every single Loanee, day and night, by mobile phone. Women call in panic whenever something goes wrong and our Extension Workers respond by taking a veterinarian, holding a special Mahila Meeting to iron out some issue, or simply talk to them till they calm down.
|Taluk||Extension Worker||No. of Borrowers|
You can participate in the Celina Fund with any contribution. However, support of € 550 will assist a single poor woman buy a cow and improve her financial status. Every Euro you contribute will, exclusively and entirely, go to assisting a woman.
Nothing will be kept back for administration/overheads, under any name or nomenclature! Please click here to contact Alf Bjørseth.
- 041 017 Laxminarasamma
Laxminarasamma is a 43 year old woman who used to do house work in her mud walled thatched Hut measuring 20 ft x 15 ft. She borrowed Rs 28,958 to buy a cross bred cow from the Celina Fund, and that changed her entire life. As on today, she has already repaid Rs 7,530 and is confident of clearing her entire loan in the coming years.
- 219 026 Chinnamma
Chinnamma is a daily labourer who belongs to the lowest caste in Indian Society and was regarded as an "untouchable". All this changed 13 years back when a Coolie Sangha Unit was formed in her village and she was selected by the women to be their Village Health Worker. Today Chinnamma, 45 years, is perhaps one of the most important persons in Giddapannahalli village, giving leadership to all small and poor peasant families — men as well as women. Some years back she adopted Harish, today a confident 18 year old lad, and the two of them live together in a government built house measuring 24 ft by 12 ft.
- 267 025 Chinnamma
Chinnamma from Dapparthy village is classified by the Indian Caste system as a Scheduled Tribe. She lives with her 3 school going children, Narasamma, Anand and Suresh, in a government built house measuring 25 ft by 10 ft. Though she has 0.5 acres of rain fed dry land, she is a Daily Labourer. When she bought a cross bred cow in June 2009 with a Celina Fund loan, it was only a continuum of the empowerment process that started for her, 12 years back, when the village Coolie Sangha Unit was formed.
Please click here for a full description of the ADATS organization, which is Marcus Fund's partner in India, who implement this project through their existing staff & infrastructure. ADATS has, for more than 32 years, assisted Coolie women in this region.