How We Work?

One of the key missions of TLF is to empower the poor by providing funds, resources, guidance and support in an ethical and compliant manner so that they may become financially strong. At TLF, we offer interest free micro-credit to women living in slums in the range of Rs 4,000 to Rs. 12,000 in order to invest in their micro-business activities.

Lifeline Has Implemented The Grameen Model (Sans Interest) In Its Operations

In terms of structuring the operations, TLF has implement the Grameen model pioneered by Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed Yunus of Bangladesh. In this model, there are five members forming a group, with one of them being a leader. All women have to have ,or start, a business of their own, and be micro-entrepreneurs. The groups are formed after interviews, and each loan is also preceded by a loan assessment process. During the interview the purpose, requirement and benefit from the loan to the borrower is assessed. We educate the member, on how to put the funds to best use. We encourage women indulging in hazardous / detrimental activities (such as beedi rolling) to change business and start new activities.

The borrowing member commits to a loan tenure that is comfortable to her (subject to a max. period of 6 months). Loan amount is collected back in equal instalments through weekly meetings at a fixed time and place within the slum. Loans are largely restricted to women groups only, though we have experimented with loans to men also. All collections are deposited in separate bank accounts in each branch, and all loan disbursals are also done through cheques. Most members have been guided to open bank accounts as well.
To ensure sustainability of operations, a fixed transaction charge is collected from members at a constant Rs 10 (USD 15 cents) per week during repayment of an outstanding loan. Transaction charge levied has not changed since inception in 2010-11. No fee is collected from the member in the period in-between loans. The transaction charge goes directly to pay the honorarium to the loan and accounts officers employed by TLF at each branch. It is ensured that the charge collected is less than the expenses incurred, and the rest is subsidized by TLF. The salary of full-time employees is borne directly by TLF through donations collected for specifically for administrative costs. On an average, the levy comes to between 1-5% depending on size of the loan. No transaction charges levied on education loans and other grant activities.