Seven MFIs in the north-eastern region of India, including North-eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi), have announced a Micro-entrepreneurship award in memory of Sitaram Rao, mentor of Indian microfinance, who passed away on July 10. The award will be given to a microfinance client who has demonstrated best example of micro-entrepreneurship.
The MFIs’ forum has noted the contribution by Sitaram Rao to the sector in the north-eastern region of India. “He had a strong feeling for the organzations working in the region. He passionately gave them time, even to the smaller organizations,” said Sarat Chandra Das, CEO of Grameen Sahara.
In a meeting held in NEDFi conference Hall in Guwahati, the members observed silence in memory of Sitaram Rao and sent a condolence message to his parents and other family members.
The members said they have formed a forum for the purpose and invited others to join the endeavour. The award, to be named “Sitaram Rao Memorial Micro-entrepreneurship Award”, would be given away from next year on his death anniversary, the forum said. Initially the award will be given to the microfinance entrepreneurs from Assam.
A committee will be formed in its next meeting on August 29 to work on modalities of the award, the forum said. It has also decided to organize a week-long exhibition of the beneficiaries of each NGO every year in order to provide them exposure, preferably at NEDFi Hat.
The forum has selected Mantu Sharma as its convener and invited other organizations or individuals in the sector to join the endeavour.
(Sitaram Rao born on Dec 21, 1957 and died on July 10, 2009)