It is International Women's Day today ------ and my way of celebrating it is to give a loan to a woman to help her build a toilet.
Did you know that millions of Indian women are vulnerable to sexual assault when they step out because they do not have toilets at home? Beyond the protests and processions and prayer meetings for Nirbhaya that so many of us have participated in, are you ready to help a woman build a toilet, and help her protect herself from sexual assault?
Here's an easy way to do it ----- make a loan via MILAAP (http://www.milaap.org/). I made my first Milaap loan in September 2011, and in the succeeding months, I have made 44 loans (lives impacted: 730). There hasn't been a single default since I made the first loan, and the mails from Milaap revive every month the immense satisfaction I experience in having made a contribution, however minimal, in the lives of women living thousands of kilometres away.
This is how MILAAP works.
Milaap is an online platform that enables you to lend to India's working poor. It partners with established organizations that have a strong presence at the grass roots and a deep understanding of the 150 million Indian households with no access to water, sanitation, healthcare, education and energy. Milaap and its field partners design customized loan programs and Milaap then shares the requirements, backgrounds and photos of all borrowers. The online listing of borrower profiles enables the lender to select the cause and the borrower of his choice and give a loan of minimum USD 50 or Rs 1000.
Every month, Milaap sends the total loan collected to its various field partners who disburse the loans and regularly monitor the progress of the borrowers and collect repayments from them. Monthly deposits of the repaid loan instalments are made into the lender's Milaap account. At the end of the loan cycle, the lender can choose to withdraw the repaid loan amount or relend it to another borrower on Milaap.
Right now, there are at least 14 women/women's groups looking for a Milaap loan to build toilets (https://milaap.org/fund) ----- make a loan today, and make a difference!