Stories of distress from small borrowers -Sayantan Bera
* Across India, women borrowers are finding it tough to repay small loans. The next few months will be critical
NEW DELHI: Sarama Koyal does not have a roof over her head. After the Amphan super cyclone ravaged her home in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal in May, all she could afford was a black tarpaulin sheet. Despite this, what’s giving her sleepless nights is the repayment schedule of four micro-loans she took from banks and financial institutions. Over the past two years Koyal has borrowed 230,000; this includes a fresh loan from Bandhan Bank last month, to help repay a previous one from the same bank.
Her business of selling sarees is at a standstill thanks to covid-19 and local lockdowns; for months now Koyal’s husband who worked as a porter in the state capital Kolkata had had no work. For a household that barely earned 8,000 a month in good times, the twin blows of a cyclone and a pandemic has led to a tipping point.
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Livemint.com, 17 August, 2020, https://www.livemint.com/news/india/stories-of-distress-from-small-borrowers-11597585864192.html