By Aishwarya Ramesh. New York University.
In this essay, I responded to the research question “What Impacts has the Provision of Microfinance had on thirteen Self Help Groups in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu?” I evaluated the individual and household impacts of microfinance for these 13 self-help groups in the towns of Kotagiri, Ooty and Coonoor, in order to analyse and assess the benefits of microfinance. The scope of this investigation was to determine the extent to which microfinance helped individuals by using data pertaining to their income levels, type of education and healthcare that they have access to, and belongings and valuables they own that reflect their standard of living. I did this by using the data to derive calculations in relation to the amount of monthly income they earn, the loan that they owe, and the proportion of income needed to repay the loan. I investigated the financial stability of each of the groups, and evaluated the benefits gained from microfinance. My primary data included interviews with the self-help groups in the Nilgiris and the REPCO foundation in Chennai. My secondary data consisted of economic statistics, which I obtained from the Office of the Assistant Director of Statistics in Ooty, and research papers from the Internet.
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