Thrissur: Here is a model village that is free from the ravenous moneylenders who extend loans to hapless farmers on exorbitant interest rates. Better known as ‘Blade Banks’ in local parlance, these private banks bleed the villagers with abnormal interest loans and difficult terms, which drive many helpless victims into suicide.
The chairman of the South Indian Bank Mr. V A Joseph launched the pilot project of the bank at Meloor Village near here. It is going to be a trail blazer for many other villages, which are burdened with high interest loans.
The project is aimed in making the villagers self reliant. The Kerala Agricultural University has already inked a MOU with the bank for the integrated development of the village. It will help the villagers by offering technical guidance to set up units for ornamental fish rearing, diary, landscaping and medicinal plants. The village panchayat also plans to make available leased land for landless agricultural workers to set up units. The requisite marketing back up will be provided by the Organization for Women Empowerment and Rural Development, which will also help to beget the government subsidies on offer.