The Chennai based Indian Overseas Bank's Ooty branch provided loans to the tribal communities in the Nilgiris on Independence Day. The bank disbursed loans under various segments including education loans, small business loans, farming loans (related activities like sheep rearing, dairy farming) etc. The bank also issued smartcards to the eligible customers.
It is reported that the bank undertook the special loans project for the tribal communities of the Nilgiri as a means to fulfill its financial inclusion program which is aimed at providing financial independence to the tribals so that don't fall into the clutches of money lenders.
The bank distributed loans worth Rs. 42 lakh covering about 160 customers, all belonging to some tribal community of the district. The bank's assistant general manager, Mr. Venugopal Dharmalingam, said that so far the bank has included about 50 percent of Toda community of Nilgiris through its financial inclusion program. He also mentioned that tribals are good customers as they repay loans on time.
It should be noted that Indian Overseas Bank volunteered to execute the financial inclusion program in the district for the tribal communities last June and has since then adopted about 7 tribal villages as part of its financial inclusion initiative.