Ever heard of a bank that deals exclusively in goats?
Women in remote Korawan, 70 km from Allahabad, have come up with a novel bank which exclusively deals with goats - accepting the animal as savings and lending it out as loans.
"Prema and her friends hailing from Afrozi village have establish a bank which deals exclusively in goats," development block coordinator Subedar Singh told PTI.
In tough terrains of Mirzapur district, most of the people are engaged in crushing stone to earn a living.
"Wives of these people help them in crushing stones and breed two-three goats for additional income," Singh said.
"Though the area is best suited for goat breeding, no effort was made to establish it as a full fledged business activity," he said.
"We provide goats to women having interest in taking up breeding as a full-time activity as loan. When a goat gives birth to kids, generally two to three in numbers, one of them is deposited with the bank again," Prema explained.
Goats in the bank are medically examined every week.
"In case a goat dies, then it is either replaced from the market or from the bank depending upon the availability," Prema said.
Subedar Singh said though the bank was started only six months back, more than 40 women of over six villages in the area have joined as members.
"Though the project is in a nascent stage, but with the increasing number of members, we are hopeful that it will turn out to be a strong basis of income and livelihood for women engaged in petty activities," Singh said.
"Our effort is that every member of the bank has a capital of at least 20 goats so that they become self-reliant financially," Prema said.
She said that while goats were being given as loans, other requirements were being fulfilled by selling them in the market.