Here is another innovative way to help the poor:
Sangini Women’s Co-operative Bank
aims to help these women break that cycle by providing savings accounts
to the sex workers that can then be passed down to their children. As
one sex worker laments:
“But earlier there was no way to save money. Even if you
gave it for safekeeping to a shopkeeper or brothel manager, they would
never return it.”
One of the interesting outgrowths of this newfound ability to save
is that it provides the women a means to say no to clients that are
unwilling to use or do not have condoms. Accordingly, these savings accounts give the opportunity to the women to protect themselves from HIV.
Here is the link and more. Note that when it comes to insuring against consumption risk, even zero interest savings can be more efficient than paying a high interest rate on micro-credit.