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SLI by HDFC Bank helping empower rural women

Bhubaneswar: Empowering rural women through its Sustainable Livelihood Initiative (SLI), HDFC Bank targets to disburse Rs 500 crore in Odisha this fiscal, nearly three-fold rise from that provided last year, to elevate the status of households.

“SLI has so far empowered over 2.13 lakh women in the bottom of the pyramid in 1121 villages of Odisha. Disbursement under the initiative will be raised to Rs 500 crore in the state this year,” said Manohara Raj, Sr Executive Vice-President & Business head – SLI, HDFC Bank.

Stating that an amount of Rs 180 crore had been disbursed to various women groups last year, Raj said the number of SLI beneficiaries would also be increased to around 3 lakh by the end of this fiscal. All 30 districts of Odisha would soon be covered by SLI, now present in 22 districts.

So far, around Rs 500 crore has been disbursed since the initiative was launched in the state in 2012, said Raj, who along with bank officials visited Chandradeipur village, some 40 km away from here, and interacted with beneficiaries.

Like many other villages in Odisha, the women-folk in this village have benefitted from SLI of HDFC Bank.

Nationally, SLI is present in over 15,000 villages in 25 states and has helped provide sustainable livelihood to over 62 lakh households, which has directly impacted over 2.5 crore people across the country, Raj said.

He said SLI forms a primary pivot that’s driving HDFC Bank’s board mandated objective to bring 10 million families (50 million people) within the banking fold and achieve financial inclusion. SLI is helping women become financially independent, which in turn is making a difference to the lives of millions in rural India.

SLI, unlike other schemes doesn’t stop just at opening bank accounts or providing credit to people in the rural areas. “It is a holistic model adopted by HDFC Bank to help transform lives of millions living in un-banked and under-banked areas,” Raj said.

“We believe, true inclusion can take place when people in the bottom of the pyramid are provided livelihood skillsets, have access to formal banking services, and imparted financial literacy training,” he said.

SLI is not only extending credit, but also skills training, financial literacy, and even access to markets where possible, which helps augment household income, said Raj.

Services offered under SLI include financial literacy, credit counselling, customised savings products like savings accounts with ATM card, cheque book, micro recurring deposits, and fixed deposits to inculcate banking habit, cash flow smoothening, and meeting life cycle needs.

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