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Saturday June 22, 2024

ABP&AW celebrates 32nd year of small credit scheme

By Afshan S. Khan
June 11, 2024
A representational image released on April 9, 2020 of a woman working from 1st ABPAW All Branch Consultative Meeting, organised by National Association of Business Professional & Agricultural Women, held in Karachi from 5th to 8th March 2020. — Facebook/abpawkp
A representational image released on April 9, 2020 of a woman working from 1st ABPAW All Branch Consultative Meeting, organised by National Association of Business Professional & Agricultural Women, held in Karachi from 5th to 8th March 2020. — Facebook/abpawkp

Rawalpindi : The Association of Business, Professional, and Agricultural Women (ABP&AW) marked the 32nd anniversary of their Small Credit Scheme with a well-attended ceremony held at the Ather Garrison Officers Mess here on Saturday.

The event commenced with a recitation from the Holy Quran and a prayer on the first of Zil Haj, setting a solemn and respectful tone. Dr. Munira Abbasi, an expert in Lifestyle Medicine, delivered an articulate presentation on the importance of adopting life skills to reverse diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Her talk captivated the audience, leading to an engaging and interactive question-and-answer session. Tahmeena Malik, President of ABP&AW (IR Branch), provided a detailed presentation on the Small Credit Scheme. She was followed by Khalida Salimi, Director of SACH, who expressed gratitude to Tahmeena and praised the project’s steady progress in providing relief to underprivileged women.

The positive impact of the scheme was evident in the confident and happy faces of the beneficiaries present. Highlighting the ceremony, Khalida Salimi presented cheques to Farzana Khurram and Farah Bibi, who shared their inspiring stories of success after receiving the loans. Their testimonies underscored the scheme’s role in promoting economic empowerment, which enables individuals to control and allocate financial resources. The Small Credit Scheme was launched in July 1992 to address the disparities faced by women, particularly in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. It began with six loans of Rs 5,000 each.

Over the years, the loan amounts have gradually increased to Rs 25,000. Initially, prospective loanees received a week-long training and were then linked to the formal banking sector through FWB Rawalpindi. To date, ABP&AW has disbursed 800 small loans, maintaining a revolving credit of Rs 12 lakhs with an impressive 98 percent return rate, all funded through private donations. The true return, however, has been far more significant.