Mahashakti Foundation, Madanpur Rampur, Orrisa
Mahashakti Foundation is a community based micro finance Institution, working directly with poor and marginalized. It primarily emphasizes on delivering quality micro finance services for its clients.
“….. and the roads to Success, one that is rosy and the other that is challenging. But it is the latter that bears the sweetest of spoils.” With this thought and reference a journey was embarked upon long back and it would no be an understatement to make that the journey has been tough, asking, changing-all-the time, and yet fulfilling. On the 19th Oct 2004 Mahashakti Foundation was formally institutionalized as an mFI. It had its birth from its parent organization FARR, under the successful intervention of its CARE CASHE (Credit and Savings for Household Enterprises) project. Rural reconstruction being the chief motto of FARR it was quite obvious that any off shoot from its wings would carry the flag of commitment for the poor. And Mahashakti in its six year of operations has religiously followed the motto and would continue to do so in the times to come. It has rather made this belief prerogative and has always delegated an entire team towards the implementation of the motto on the field.
Microfinance is a sector that is munificent considering the variety and the rage of activities it envisages yet it is ruthless in the way it disregards non-adherence of rules and the lack of ability to incorporate change and betterment. Keeping this precept in mind we have constantly kept ourselves abreast with the everyday changes in the microfinance world, be it the incorporation of state-of-the-art software systems of facilities better operations or the inclusion of trained ad professional human resource, we have made it a point that we would under no circumstance compromise with our quality of services and thus ensure our presence in the evolution of the microfinance world. We also understand that there are issues that have not been addressed, yet nothing that has been missed is out of intent, rather, it is owing to obvious reasons of compulsions. It is also noteworthy that there has been a taciturn cold about certain issues at least in the eastern part of microfinance – India. For instance, Social Performance Management: the mFIs working in this part of the country are yet to come to terms with this tool that the sector presents. Unless and until its implementation bears visible fruits for a few, the others for obvious reasons aren’t going to follow them. But Mahashakti has taken a bold step in being the ‘First mover’ in such areas and is constantly doing research into how such instruments could prove beneficial and this be a benefactor to the entire sector. Another element that needs to be mentioned in here is our commitment to work with rural women, can put the empowerment of the people in general on fast-track mode. Thus for the past six years of our operations we have been working mostly with women and it need not be mentioned that are proud of the results on and off the field.
There is a piece of wall-hanging in our head office campus which reads…..”Positive thinking is half the work done” and is surrounded by the phrase ‘I Can’: now this is one element of work culture that we have pioneered over a period of time which has made us witness constant growth and self-sufficiency at the same time.
This is a rare mix of development we have been able to achieve till date and are now well on our way to add another one, which would make us achieve the ‘Double Bottom line’i.e. Social Performance Management (SPM). With a vision to streamline our ‘Mission; with our operational activities and to endorse the six principles of Client Protection we have now adopted SPM as a tool to make ourselves better at all our levels and areas of functioning. In spite of the difficulties that have went into implementing the tool we have put of a brave face against adversities and have started doing what is right at a constant pace. It is also worth mentioning that we are now in the mode of getting converted into an NBFC and it is the time that is looked forward to by every mFi, yet it is one of the most challenging times and needs to be treaded through with caution and care. Our decision to involve elements like SPM, at a time when we are looking forward to expand reiterates our commitment to be firmly attached to our core principles and belief of being socially active and aware in whatever we do/ In the words of our President,” Just believing that you are in line with your primary goal isn’t enough….. You need to prove and advertise.” The thought is clearly visible in all our activities and are confident that we would be following and practicing the same at all times.
“Organize the poor, build up their capacities and access to them relevant micro finance and livelihood services with transparency and in a dignified way”
“To be sustainable and established MFI by enabling the poor to change the quality of their lives for a better and secured tomorrow”