Low income migrant workers face serious exclusion from formal financial services due to their uncertain incomes and constant movement between villages and cities. In the absence of access to finance, they are unable to save and often get trapped in conditions of debt-bondage and over-indebtedness. Most migrant families are thus unable to increase their wealth despite years of migration.
In 2007, we helped establish Shram Sarathi a pioneering non-profit company which works on financial inclusion of labour migrants and their families. The first dedicated financial services institution in the country for migrants, Shram Sarathi offers innovative financial services specially designed for low-income migrants. These include affordable credit, savings, insurance, old-age pensions, remittances and payments and a significant financial literacy program.
Shram Sarathi’s work has resulted in the direct inclusion of nearly 50,000 previously unbanked migrant families. Workers report having gained a sense of dignity, reduction in borrowing distress, increased optimism about attaining future financial goals, entrepreneurial confidence, and improved participation of women in the family’s financial decisions.
For more information on how Shram Sarathi uses access to finance to make migration more dignified, click here