Thursday, February 11, 2021

Before Bhumi - The Micro Finance Idea

Our meeting used to be a melting pot of ideas, many ideas were proposed, while some proposed ideas and disappeared, some stayed back to execute them.

One of the ideas that would shape the course of the organisation came from a volunteer who was older than all of us…

Anurag Shrivatsava used to then work at a large Multi-National Bank in Chennai and used to frequent our meetings. I first learnt about micro-finance from him. His idea was to identify tribal people in forests and needy people in rural areas and give them small loans to develop trades. We discussed the ideas over a few meets when he suggested we visit the department of Forests and explore the idea further.

We visited the TN Forest Department office at Panagal Building, Saidapet, Chennai where after a long wait we got to meet one of the senior officials. I don't remember him heeding our idea so much. What's etched in my memory is his outright refusal to even discuss with a group that was not a 'registered NGO'.

We tried convincing we were a large group, IIT, youth etc. but he wasn't impressed and told us to come back after we were registered

This was my first exposure to the bureaucracy as a part of Bhumi and I returned dejected

Have you had an experience when someone flatly refused to take you seriously? Leave a comment.

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