The provision of Micro finance to its members constitutes LMST‟s leading developmental activity. Women workers have limited access to formal financial institutions; they are always dependent on some informal source of finance for their needs. There is a huge gap between the demand and supply of financial resources for women workers. LMST tries to fulfill the saving and credit needs of its members by offering them financial support. For these needs we extend Micro Finance Programme for the women workers in districts of U.P.
The women workers have very low-income level. LMST endeavors that women be encouraged for small savings so that these savings can be utilized in the future for productive purpose. Therefore LMST helped in the formation of 418 Self Help Groups covering different trades in the rural and urban areas of Uttar Pradesh. On an average there are 15-20 women workers in these groups. Each groups has its own bylaws and leadership elected among the leaders only. Of these 183 SHGs comprising 759 women workers, obtained loan from Small Scale Industries Bank of India (SIDBI) and by SHGs. For various reasons like starting Chikan, Zardozi work, paying old debts, treatment, home construction, expanding shop, education. Etc.
One of the objectives of LMST is to influence government policy in favour of women workers in the unorganized sector, as ignorance and lengthy legal procedures often deprive these women from deriving benefits from the existing and the prospective government schemes. We assisted many women in this area and helped some of them obtain old age and widowhood pension. It also helped women to get registered in the BPL List so that they can derive certain benefits under various schemes.
This centre was setup by LMST to help the artisans to find markets for their products and to enhance their bargaining power. The centre aims to promote and sustain artisan‟s welfare by helping them produce high quality work and also by providing them with support against economic and social exploitation. The key functions of the centre are:
LMST launched a campaign for construction workers to make them aware about various government and State Welfare Board programmes meant for construction workers of UP. To increase awareness Camps, Melas, Puppet Shows at brick kilns, Labour Adda‟s, Labour Basti were organized. Members were made aware about the benefits of registering under Welfare Board for Construction Workers. LMST assisted in registration process and facilitated benefits to them through networking with Labour department, which ranged from bicycle distribution for ease in commuting to signing them up for various other government programmes like accidental insurance covers.
The aim of this project was to help the home-based workers, who are poor and illiterate, by educating them about their rights. With the help of this campaign they were made aware of their legal rights and various schemes of the government for their benefits.
The women workers get visible status and are able to reap the benefits of various schemes offered by the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry Of Textile in one cluster of Barabanki, nine Mohalla of Lucknow District and two blocks of Hardoi District. It offers them to avail various Central Government schemes for welfare of the artisans and also sell their products at various exhibitions around the country.
In view of our philosophy to build capacities of its members to make them economically self-reliant, Lucknow Mahila Sewa Trust lays emphasis on following capacity building components: