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BANKING AT BOTTOM OF PYRAMID

While the nation's banking system saw a revolution of sorts last week with the launch of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank, an unassuming school passout in Ahmedabad, has been making giant strides in financial inclusion in her own quiet way.

Madhuben Hasmukhbhai Parmar, 40, is an example of how many a woman is working well away from the arc lights, defying biases and stereotypes.

Madhuben is the Chief Operations Officer of Saath Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Ltd, a leading cooperative society here with nearly 20,000 members and a turnover of around Rs 10 crore.

About 6,000 of Saath's members are poor Muslims, including 4,000 women. One of the branches is exclusively for the 4-lakh-strong Muslim community at Juhapura, a ghetto on the outskirts of Ahmedabad with hardly any civic amenities.

Saath has seven branches in Ahmedabad's slum areas, offering loans of up to Rs 30,000 to the economically downtrodden to set up their own livelihoods.

Incube group has had a strong association with Saath in promoting many of its projects. 

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