is one of the ‘seven sisters’ in the Northeastern region of India. The state is
breathtakingly beautiful but happens to be one of the most impoverished states
in the country. The region has had a very volatile history, and continues to be
fraught with problems relating to insurgency. Against this backdrop, Manipur
houses several underserved communities- majority of which have tribal ancestry.
The area lacks even basic infrastructure in some places.
Volunteers’ Union (YVU) is primarily a social service non-profit operating in
north-eastern India since 1972. Powered by young men and women volunteers, it
undertakes programs, such as agriculture development, watershed programs, lift
irrigation projects, and environment and social issues awareness creation among
YVU started its microfinance operation called YVU Microfin in 1996 to drive self-sustainability
and greater ownership of these programs by communities. YVU Microfin provides
impoverished locals with credit to develop and build their own microenterprises
and uplift themselves. It works towards financing this enterprise development
and progress among women from underprivileged communities in Assam and Manipur.
women from Imphal East in Manipur are seeking a loan to invest in their
respective micro-enterprises. These women mostly work on their small
traditional weaving enterprises where they make shawls called mekhala chadors,
loin cloths and bed spreads. In addition to weaving, tea-stalls and small cafes
are also a popular choice of business that a lot of these women run. These
women will purchase raw materials for their businesses- looms for weaving,
different varieties of threads, inventory items for their tea-stalls such as
tea, sugar, snacks etc. Through its partnership with Milaap, YVU Microfin
supports women in these areas, uplifting them from poverty- the loan will help
uplift 30 women and their families.