Banking on Change (BoC) was initiated in year 2010 with an aim to break barriers to financial inclusion and improve the quality of life of the marginalized communities, by giving people the skills to save and manage their money effectively.

The overarching principle of project in the first phase was to ensure sustainability of SHGs and their federations through effective delivery of financial services to poor households.

The Phase II started in July 2013, placed a special focus on women and girls in the age group of 18 – 35 years to build their financial literacy, employability and enterprise skills and thus, foster their financial infrastructure with set objectives.

The Project promoted and strengthened over 2,500 SHGs with a combined reach of 36,000 households. These SHGs have come together and promoted six block level federations, which are registered as legal entities.  A federation is a collective of SHGs and governed by elected representative of SHGs. All six federations have leveraged 100 crore loans.

As a phase out strategy, BoC has planned to conduct handing over events to federation members to take it forward. A handing over federation event was organized on the eve of International Women Day which is an opportunity to appreciate the remarkable contribution of women to our society. It is a day where all women come together and celebrate their success, achievement and determination of the equality with men folks.

The belief of handing over event is that the strength of a community is when people come together to provide vital support and opportunities that increase protective factors and support resilience and positive human development. Every community has its strength and potentials to withstand pitfalls, issues and problems and has better understanding of its problems.

Communities thrive when they develop their own understanding of issues and they "own" their problems and issues. When communities accept that it is "their" problem, then they are more likely to work together to develop a solution, and the solution will be better than the one provided solely by an external expert. Community ownership is fundamental to achieving sustainable development.

One of the CARE India’s programming approach is to build the capacities of the communities and encourage them to take it further. By handing over the initiative to federation members, CARE aims to give back to community what belongs to them so that they can take it forward.


Sandeep Gaikwad