In a unique gesture, RC Madras Chennapatna, RID 3232, provided micro loan of ₹50,000 to a transgender couple — Prem and Preethisha — to help them start an organic oil store in Chennai.
Both of them hail from an agricultural background, cultivating groundnuts and manufacturing groundnut oil.
“We met them through an NGO that works for transgenders’ welfare and on interacting with them we understood that the money will be safely invested in a trade that they had good knowledge about,” says Club President G Prabhakar. He is hopeful that the club’s initiative will be replicated by other clubs to break the stigma, usher in better inclusiveness and further upgrade the standard of living of the people.
Initiated 18 years ago under P L Muthiah, Chairman, Microloans, the club has so far extended soft loans of ₹32 lakh to benefit 182 people comprising street cart vendors, tailors, tea shop owners and hair stylists. The loan amount has been recently upgraded from ₹25,000 to ₹50,000 “so that people need not look elsewhere for additional assistance to start their venture,” says Prabhakar.