It was in the year 1988 that a team of social workers having previous experience in development sector came together and formed a society namely ‘VAMA’ for the development of rural villages. ‘VAMA’ literally means ‘Empower Women’ or (SHAKTI) that is exactly the sole motto of the organization. Since then, VAMA has been striving to liberate the rural WOMEN from chronic poverty through its various developmental interventions and activities.
VAMA initially struggled for small grants and worked for rural poor of the locality through various activities concentrated on their Health & Sanitation, Education and livelihood related issues. In this phase, VAMA experimented with various developmental activities, which helped VAMA and its staff in learning the dynamics and various issues of rural development. Through its interventions VAMA developed good rapport among the masses. Within the initial five years VAMA realized that the sustainable development can come only through economic empowerment of the Women. Thereafter as a strategic step, VAMA started mobilizing women into groups (better known as SHGs) for creating different development avenues. Many women SHGs were formed in this period and, they were convinced that financial avenues created by these groups can help them in developing their economic base through some income generating activities. These SHGs developed their habit of Savings and also started internal credit circulation.
It was a learning point for VAMA how a poor woman can make use of such small credit in a perspective way. Realizing the zeal of the women for taking up economic activities and their ability to utilize and repay loan funds, VAMA tried to provide loan assistance to its SHGs. By 2005 VAMA was able to mobilize loan fund for this cause from institutions such as NABARD,FWWB, ICICI BANK LTD. etc. and started giving small loans to the SHGs for supporting economic activities. Such transaction not only helped the groups for better utilization of finance, but also the message was spread to other women who voluntarily made groups and approached VAMA to follow its principles and rules and avail support service from it.
Today, on the basis of the same principles and practices, VAMA has become one of the leading MFIs in the state of Madhya Pradesh, reaching out to more than 10000 households. At present, VAMA is not only providing financial support to the rural families, but is also helping form new enterprises in its area through larger loans and technical inputs for starting micro enterprises.