In rural India, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of rural development.
Many families are struggling to pay the mortgage, or are unable to pay their rent and utility bills.
There is also a lack of credit.
“We have been unable to find reliable loans, because they don’t exist,” said Subhash, an accountant and member of a village council.
“So we had to find alternatives like credit cards and we found a credit card from a local company that is offering loans.”
Subhash is a part of the Rural Housing Alliance, a grassroots organisation that connects rural households to affordable and reliable housing.
With the help of the NGO, Subhash and other members of the group started a credit cards company called Swaminarayan (S) Bank.
Since then, they have been able to open up the credit cards in several rural villages.
Swaminarayans credit card offer offers loans ranging from as little as $5 to $20, depending on the income.
Swaminarakans website is open for all to see and sign up for the free offer.
Swaminarakas credit card offers loans for up to a maximum of $30,000.
Says Subhash: “The best part of this is that they have made it very easy for me to get a credit from Swaminakas card.
I was able to buy the cards and pay for my monthly rent and utilities with them.”
Sampatna, another member of the alliance, says that there is also an online portal that allows people to book and pay their bills online.
Sampats credit card is available to people from all income brackets.
Swami Venkatesan, who has a degree in sociology, says Swaminaran is an excellent choice for people who are struggling financially in rural areas.
Venkates is a retired farmer who runs a cooperative in the rural part of Kerala.
He says that Swaminara has a high rate of interest for borrowers who pay their monthly dues.
“If you can pay the monthly dues and make payments on time, you can get your credit card,” he said.
Venkatas credit cards can be used at banks and credit unions in many states.
For the next month, Swaminatarayan is offering credit cards to the members of Sampatna and Sampats tribal councils.
Swamakans credit cards are available at banks across the country, and Swaminatas cards can also be purchased online from a Swaminaram bank branch in Kerala.