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Pray For Money: The Secret Life of Savers in Lower Assam Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Pray For Money: The Secret Life of Savers in Lower Assam

Pray For Money: The Secret Life of Savers in Lower Assam

Summary

Banks in the Northeast of India may be missing an opportunity. For years, self-formed savings and loan groups have been evolving. In some village areas households belong to an average of seven different groups. Groups form in unusual ways, and this paper discusses one particular way women in Bidiya village save. They charge for prayers and invest the income into group funds that support livelihood activities such as weaving or household emergencies. But, for all the success of these groups, members would like the benefit of better banking services.

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