Member Legislative Assembly, Odisha
Sri Debi Prasad Mishra
Adhikar’s efforts and achievements in changing the lives of marginalized is commendable. It is challenging to help the wholesome development of the people, but the emotional attachment to the cause, passion for work, and commitment to go extra mile has been useful for them to realize their goals and take a lead role in the development scenario of the state. I want to bring to the attention that development is happening here as in other places. But at what pace? In which modality is it taking place? Whether the economic development we see is inclusive? How to facilitate sustainable source of income to this section? It is not sufficient to access basic minimum needs but progress towards ‘quotient of happiness’. The developed states like Haryana, Punjab face issues like gender disparity and caste conflict. It is less severe here. We have strong cultural ethos. We must take the path of development in congruence with our culture. Traditional wisdom must be incorporated in designing plans and programs. I am sure Adhikar can play a leading role in our efforts with its 25 years of long working experience.
Shri Panchanan Kanungo
Ex. Finance Minister, Govt. of Odisha
Welfare schemes are also a critical driver of developmental activities. Let us take the case of Kerala. It is one of the most developed states in the country. How the poverty was eradicated in that state and the human resource became so productive? Why it was able to create a workforce spread across many countries? The big improvement is because the welfare measures were highly effective in Kerala making the workforce highly productive. We used to think that welfare support is for only consumption and does not have a place in economic development as we measure it on the cost-benefit ratio. But today the welfare sector is considered as the primary sector for economic development. If the human resource is not healthy, educated, and skilled; then the capacity to earn will be restricted. Progressive thinkers like Amartya Sen, have clearly accepted that health is the most valued asset of a human being. If she is healthy, she can learn new skills, work more, and earn better. We have to maintain the good health of our population right from early childhood to make them productive. Adhikar has contributed immensely to developing livelihood, creating a healthy society, bridging the skill gap, addressing the immediate needs of the disaster affected people to enable the poor to live a dignified and inclusive life. It is evident here that we should do our best to reach the poorest of the poor and bring them in the ambit of financial inclusion, making true development possible. I wish Adhikar continue to render its support in the days to come to uplift poor from financial insecurity.
Sri Premananda Das
Deputy General Manager, Canara Bank, Bhubaneswar
In 1982, at the beginning of my career as a banker, we formed a few SHGs for bank linkage. Today we are talking of financial inclusion and have certainly come a long way. We are enjoying the journey but not counting the potholes we have to negotiate with. It is an enthralling journey and I congratulate Adhikar team for being a part of it. There are different types of power such as political power, muscle power, money power, and so forth. But here is an organization ’empowering’ person. But we have so many products and delivery mechanisms. But whether things are happening the way we want it?
If there is a gap, let us find out solutions to reach our goals and make our journey more enjoyable. Everybody is talking of Direct Benefit Transfer through banks, be it an old ape, pension, School scholarships, or other such things. When a poor person comes from a far off village & we are not able to provide timely service for reasons like link failure etc. are we really there? As a banker, I think financial literacy has a big role to play to turn things around. Knowledge is power. Everybody should know how to derive the maximum benefit out of it. In the bigger canvas, it is important how aware we are to determine success. Talking of financial inclusion, people who are excluded have to be brought under its fold. But there is a section in the societies, who are much beyond exclusion and need special attention. We have to find a balance & let the process continue with more vigor and attention.
Ms. K.C. Ranjani
Founder, Dia Vikas, Gurgaon, New Delhi
I will be a little disruptive in my deliberations. All of you are well informed, so I don’t have to explain much about emerging trends. Mobile technology, innovations- institutional & otherwise are going to continue to be constructively disruptive in the development sector. I will draw attention to the fact that the growth of Adnikar is in sync with the growth path of financial inclusion itself. The institutional growth and sector growth are almost in tandem.
It is time to give a new shape to the emerging themes and create a vibrant sector that is more forward-looking. It is growing towards the ‘livelihood finance sector’ and to’ livelihood finance products’. We have all the key ingredients in place to bring in this new focus into our work to make it more compelling, intensive, and development-oriented.
Mr. Santanu Barua
Deputy General Manager, SIDBI, Bhubaneswar
You will agree that ‘financial inclusion’ is not an end but just a means. We have several delivery channels to reach the goal of financial inclusion. For years, we have been cynical or defensive about the poor getting financial access. We had lots of reasons & grounds for this, until the new business models, especially the microfinance business model helped turn the conventional paradigm on its head. But like all things in life, financial inclusion comes at a cost. When you talk of disruptions, we know of optimum or a frontier if you look at the cost and benefits of any product or project. There is always a cost and benefit trade-off. When any disruptive technology comes, it helps push that ‘frontier’ outside. In the process, two things can happen. For the same amount of cost you can derive bigger benefits or for the same amount of benefit, the cost comes down. Adhikar is on the path of rapid growth and I believe it will continue to be so in the future.
Member Secretary, CYSD, Bhubaneswar
Interesting ideas have been put along with some challenges. One big challenge is how to connect Bharat with India and vice-versa? It is not an easy task. There are thousands of villages like Nagada. But because of the penetration of organizations like Adnikar, the stories are not coming to the fore. I congratulate these who have come from a ‘Biradari of grassroots organizations’. The kind of difficulties and challenges an organization like us faces today is big. The external environment is not that conducive and we have the very little enabling environment at this time. So, if you work in such a tough situation, you deserve much appreciation. I know Adhikar from the beginning and it has conceptualized things. So, it is time to go up.
You can do a solo operation or you can opt for a collaborative one. What is the best way to collaborate meaningfully? It is up to us to think seriously. I believe if an organization has survived for 25 years, it will survive for the next 25 years. I am sure we will celebrate the golden jubilee of Adhiar and will see the kind of change we visualized in our lifetime. Maybe we can hold these events in places like “Exhibition ground” where ordinary people can join and make sense out of it. We must converge and bring people from outside to our fold. That is a challenge.
Sri K.C. Panigrahi
Chief General Manager, NABARD, Bhubaneswar
I started my career in NABARD with SHG promotion and was very passionate about women empowerment and income generation. When I started in Nayagarh, there were 300 SHGs in the state and only 9 SHGs in Nayagarh. RBI circular on SHG promotion was issued in 1992 and NABARD worked on it vigorously. The SHG-Bank linkage program has grown exponentially during this period. There are 75 lakh SHGs covering a population of 10 crores with a loan outstanding of 70,000 crores. In the beginning, I suggested to NABARD to have a separate subsidiary unit to focus completely on SHG promotion but people were not ready to accept the idea as it was a new concept and they were not convinced of the potential. As Adhikar shared, 9 groups with 37,000 means 4,000 each. That’s how we started. Because of the joint effort and commitment it has grown beyond our expectations. I am sure Adhikar will grow in the future and jump to the next level.