Swathi Jyothi

Swathi Jyothi, a Micro-Finance Institution, is an initiative that promotes empowerment of women in sex work, particularly street-based sex workers, through provision of financial security. Street-based sex workers are financially excluded as they cannot provide documents and comply with procedures required to access bank and non-bank financial services.Mainstream Micro Finance institutions are also not keen to serve this group, as they are considered a dynamic population (being street based).


Swathi Jyoti Mahila Vividoddesha Souharda Shakari Niyamita or Swathi Jyoti as it is commonly known is driven by its mission to promote the empowerment of women sex workers, particularly street based sex workers, by making financial and social services available to them.


Financial exclusion and the ensuing financial insecurity increase their vulnerability to poverty and HIV. Swathi Jyothi was established in September 2007 by and for women in sex work as a part of the Pragati project that takes an empowerment approach to addressing HIV prevention among sex workers. It was promoted and is supported by Vrutti, a livelihoods resource centre and Swasti, a health resource centre working in collaboration with Swathi Mahila Sangha, a collective of women in sex work.


Over its 5 years of operation Swathi Jyothi has provided more than 6,000 of its members in Bangalore city the security of having a platform where they can save through savings, recurring deposit and fixed deposit accounts; access affordable individual and group credit for their personal, household or enterprise needs; and access insurance. As of November 2012 Swathi Jyothi had a net saving of ₹ 7.6 million; and a total of ₹ 37.6 million of loan disbursed to over 2,800 members. These numbers are testament to the importance of this institution to the community. Through its untiring efforts Swathi Jyothi is contributing to the well-being of sex workers, and helping them achieve their dreams.

Vrutti has provided support in developing the concept, the strategic direction and also provided technical support from the beginning to manage the cooperative.


The cooperative has been awarded:
Best Urban Community Micro Enterprise for the year 2012 by Citi Micro Enterprise Awards
Best Co-operative of the Year-2012 for women empowerment by the Karnataka Federal Co-operative, Bangalore


Some Important Achievements and Statistics

Sl No

Particulars

Achievement

1

No of Members / Shareholders

7,844

2

No of Swathi Sarala /SB account holders

6,440

3

No of Swathi RD account holders

6,376

4

No of FD accounts – (from 2010)

1702

5

No of Swathi Swarna (RD) –from 2012

752

6

No of Swathi Vidya (RD) - from 2012

372

7

No of Swathi Kalyana (RD)- from 2012

194

8

No of loan accounts

5,844

9

Loan disbursed so far (in million)

100.464

10

Loan out standing  (in million)

28.88

11

Net savings  (in million)

14.31

12

No of CIGs formed so far

1886

13

No of centre group formed

104

 

Highlights
Locations
Bangalore
Partners
Pragati, Swasti
Donor/ Funder / In Kind Supporter
Swasti, NABARD, FWWB,NABFINS, GENPACT,Vrutti
Objective
To promote the empowerment of sex workers through provision of financial security.
Vrutti's Role
Develop a financial cooperative that allows members to save money in various types of accounts, access insurance, and take out loans.
Vrutti Strategy
Integrated Action Research for Innovative Models
Knowledge Hub to Extract and Transfer Learning
Scope
Over 6,000 members