Microfinance operations of Padakhep began in 1993 and it is at present the main program of Padakhep. Padakhep provides access to financial services to the poor who are unable to obtain credit from mainstream banks due to lack of necessary assets and referrals. The borrowers, most of whom are women, use these loans to engage in various income generating activities to improve their socio-economic status. Efficient management system and tools, linkage with financial institutions, identification of alternative micro-schemes, approach to address the poorest of the poor section and access to the remotest and hard-to-reach locations have added an extra dimension to Padakhep ’s microfinance program. Padakhep’s experience suggests that an integrated micro-credit and social development approach can significantly contribute to the achievement of the avowed UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment in particular by 2015. Padakhep receives credit funds and operational backstop support from PKSF and other national as well as international financing agencies.
The program covers target beneficiaries like ultra poor, beggars, poor, small/marginal farmers, businessmen, fishermen, entrepreneurs, char/haor/baor/tribal/coastal and monga-affected people, etc. Total populations covered under microfinance program are 16-20 lakh.