‘Farmers should get need based loans’

Nileema Mishra speaks at PIC’s Social Innovation Forum


Pune, June 9, 2017: Farmers should be provided with the loans according to their needs and on the long-term basis expressed Nileema Mishra, Ramon Magsaysay awardee and the founder of Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan. She was speaking at the programme organised by the Pune International Centre (PIC).

Mishra delivered a lecture on ‘Scaling up Social Enterprise’ as part of the lecture series initiated by the Social Innovation Forum of PIC. The event took place at the Bodhi Tree at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. Several institutions such as Science and Technology Park (STEP), Janwani, BHAU Institute and the Venture Center have joined hands with PIC to organise this lecture series and support the forum. Prakash Apte, chairman, Syngeta India Ltd. chaired the session and Pradeep Lokhande, founder, Gyan Key Library moderated it. Prashant Girbane, Honorary Director PIC was also present for the occasion. 

While speaking about the specific needs of farmers, Mishra said, “Farmers have been working since many years, they have the right knowledge and skills to do profitable farming but they lack the means. Now, they are killing themselves because the system and the weather is not in their favour. If we plan and implement a credit system that suits their needs, many lives will be saved.” 

Mishra, began her work in 2005 in her own village of Bahadarpur located in Jalgaon district. She has had an extensive experience of working with the farmers. Her organisation micro-finances to farmers at low interest rates and creates self-help groups for women to build self-sustainable villages. 

Mishra also emphasized on working on immediate solutions and parallelly making long-term planning. “Farmers only get crop credits but they have other needs too. Their entire family works on the farm to get the yield but it gets destroyed in a short time due to weather change. We must empathise with them and solve their immediate issues. This will help them rise up to deal with greater difficulties in the long term,” she said. 

She also narrated her journey till now. In her over a decade long career as a social worker, she has never taken funds from the government to avoid limitations. “I always thought that taking government funds would limit my passion. Our work is issue based and not project based. We have realised that the biggest issue that tiesall the problems of rural life is economy. We have dedicated ourselves to create such a system and economy that suits their lifestyle, provides women dignity and is sustainable in nature,” said Mishra.

She concluded her lecture by stating that in any enterprise scaling up only happens when you keep working relentlessly but with a specific goal and practical methods.

Apte in his address mentioned that Mishra’s innovative approaches to build a sustainable life in a village can be a motivational factor to many working in similar domain. “Her work shows that the understanding and sensitivity of the work that we are doing should go deeper as it helps us to grow and achieve growth that is qualitative and not just quantitative,” he concluded.