Honouring Women in NGOs

The women behind Teach for India and PDMDS were selected for felicitation on International Women ‘s Day 2015


Shaheen Mistri


Shaheen Mistri of Teach for India was felicitated by Moneylife Foundation on International Women’s Day 2015. In her acceptance speech, she appealed to one and all in the audience to “Do one or any good thing for the girl child today.” She said that one could buy the girl child something to eat, or one could educate a girl. Anything. Whatever one can do in his or her capacity. She added, “I am convinced that this country will change, if each and every one of us can play the role we can and do a little bit more” for the cause of children’s education.
Teach for India was launched in 2008. With sheer conviction and enthusiasm, Shaheen has motivated hundreds of college students and young professionals to join the Teach for India movement and devote two years of their lives to end educational inequity in India. Over the years, Teach for India has recruited 1,700 enthusiasts for its two-year teaching fellowship. 
Shaheen said that she was overwhelmed with gratitude when she saw a video of her children—the images of the children she has been teaching—whose lives have now changed for the better. Highlighting the importance of education she said, “We can educate every single child in this country when all of us feel connected to that goal.”

Dr Maria Barretto

“We need more education about Parkinson’s in India,” said Dr Maria Barretto, after her felicitation by Moneylife Foundation on the International Women’s Day celebrations. She said that with financial and infrastructure support from the government as well as the private sector, it would be possible to help those suffering from Parkinson’s disease in India.
Dr Barretto has devoted her life to helping people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. She enables them to improve their quality life and ensures that the dreaded, debilitating Parkinson’s disease does not lead them to the point that they give up their normal life. At PDMDS (Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Society), she developed a ‘community-based multidisciplinary model of care’ to reach out to patients of Parkinson’s who have limited, or no, access to medical care.She also urged corporates to get involved in helping PDMDS to expand its reach to provide therapy and medical care to people all over the country. 
Dr Barretto was invited to speak at the World Congress of Neurology in Vienna in 2013 and the World Parkinson’s Congress in Montreal in the same year.



Credit Information: Changing Scenario
More competition is in the offing which will benefit us 
Have you seen the TV advertisement where a man who mentions his high credit score has officials flocking to lend him money? Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL), India’s first and leading credit information company (CIC), has found a nice way to create awareness about credit scores, reinforce its brand, increase profits and stay ahead of competition that is already snapping at its heels. 
As a consumer, you pay Rs139 to get your credit report. If you want a numerical score to denote your credit status, you pay Rs470. Since CIBIL is the first mover, market leader and the only CIC of the four operating in India (Experian, Equifax, CRIF High Mark) to offer an online credit score so far, it adds a neat sum to its bottomline every time someone wants to know their credit score. Until recently, it was running a near-monopoly. 
On 15th January, a circular of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), finally, levelled the playing field for all credit bureaus while also giving them a financial boost. RBI has said that all credit institutions (banks and finance companies) must become members of all four CICs and share all historical consumer data with each other; it also capped the one-time entry fee charged by CICs at Rs10,000. 
From the consumer standpoint, this means that when Experian begins to offer an online credit score, its data will be as complete as that of CIBIL, opening up the possibility of real price competition that could benefit consumers. Meanwhile, CRIF High Mark, which went through a management change, is in a position to cash in on its early effort (when it was only High Mark) to work with rural and microfinance customers and to build a formidable database in that segment. Now, with access to data and historical records of all customers, its CEO and managing director, Kalpana Pandey, is happily able to say that CRIF is the only bureau to operate in all three segments of borrowers (commercial, retail consumers and rural or micro-credit consumers). Moreover, with a database of 492 million individual records and 15.5 million commercial loan records, she says that CRIF has a larger database and a superior algorithm for matching credit records across segments. 
All this is great news for credit bureaus; but what about consumers? In India, even lenders have some way to go before they begin to use credit scores sensibly and equitably. 
So, consumers face five kinds of issues: a) they struggle with mistakes made by CICs such as a mix-up of identities. These are rare but extremely tough to rectify because of the reluctance of CICs to acknowledge mistakes; b) wrong reporting of consumer information by lenders; c) low consumer awareness about credit rating and its consequences; d) reluctance to help borrowers rebuild their credit score, even when defaults and settlements result from genuine disputes; and e) occasional rejection of loan applications, even when the default is over seven years old.
On the other hand, countries like the US have turned more consumer-friendly. Each credit bureau is obliged to mail each consumer a free credit report every year. There is also pressure on CICs to be more proactive in rectifying credit records caused by their own mistakes and mix-ups. 
In India, issues related to credit scores are largely limited to credit from large private and foreign banks. Consumer records with public sector and cooperative banks remain poor, despite the focus on know your customer (KYC) rules. 
Also, the regulator has little time, or empathy, for this issue, since people with access to credit have been considered a part of the ‘creamy layer’ of the population. All this may change soon. 
The prime minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana has led to the opening of 132 million new bank accounts that will, over time, have access to overdraft, insurance and a Rupay card. They have only been sold the positives of a bank account. A timely education programme, and some advance planning to handle issues that will arise from lack of awareness, must go hand-in-hand with the enormous effort to give people access to formal finance. 




2 years ago

Its is good ad to make the people of aware of cibil. But what for those people who had already taken load and done settlement and there cibil is score too low and just because of this in future there wont be any transaction happening with the bank other than a normal saving/salary account. how can a people improve his/her cibil score in easy way. As mentioned "credit bureau is obliged to mail each consumer a free credit report every year" why cant we have this facility at least for those who have low score so that they could over it

Mirach Capital to file $400 million defamation suit against Sahara
US-based Mirach Capital further accused Sahara's representatives of breaching an exclusivity contract with it following public comments by its CEO Sharma regarding the group's acquisition strategy of the Sahara assets
US-based Mirach Capital said it is initiating a $400 million defamation lawsuit against Subrata Roy-led Sahara group, alleging that the failed financing deal with the Indian conglomerate has caused "irreparable harm" and "shaken investor confidence".
Accusing Mirach Capital of cheating and forgery in the failed $2.05 billion loan arrangement, Sahara, too, had said last month that it has initiated legal action against the US-based firm.
The crisis-hit group had alleged that Mirach and its CEO Saransh Sharma's criminal conduct and lack of financial capabilities to honour such huge commitments led to the breaking down of the deal, leading to the loss of precious time, resources and position of Sahara.
In a press release, Mirach has now accused Sahara of hurling "unfounded allegations" against it despite "factual evidence" that completely dispels Sahara's "trumped up" allegations of forgery.
Stating that the Lucknow-based company and its representatives continue to attempt to discredit Mirach and its CEO Sharma in the court of public opinion, Mirach said it is "announcing a defamation lawsuit to the amount of $400 million against the Sahara Group, as well as a news organisation believed to be a collaborator."
Mirach further accused Sahara's representatives of breaching an exclusivity contract with it following public comments by its Indian-origin CEO Sharma regarding the group's acquisition strategy of the Sahara assets.
"Unable to make payments on the interest of the proposed loan package, and being an unwilling seller of the properties, Sahara launched a series of false allegations to discredit Mirach and kill the loan transaction.
"It further attempted to discredit CEO Saransh Sharma, launching unproven allegations of forgery that have claimed to be validated by Sahara's 'internal investigations'," the firm said adding that when it fought back against those allegations, Sahara "trumped up" stories of a US probe.
Mirach asserted that no US federal authorities have contacted it and its directors to date for any investigation.
"In light of these actions, which have caused irreparable harm in the form of loss of income, shaken investor confidence, personal injury and more, Mirach Capital Group is prepared to litigate until justice is served," the firm said.



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