Syndicate Bank gives loans to endosulfan victims

Ranjeeth, with his brother Pradeep, an endosulfan victim, and members of the family, is seen with the new excavator that was purchased with help from the Syndicate Bank’s Venur branch in Andinje.

When Ranjeeth submitted the project report to the bank manager, he had mentally prepared himself to face the rejection.

Imagine his surprise, when Ravikanth Nayak the Manager of Syndicate Bank’s Venur branch in Belthangady taluk, smiled and declared that the bank had sanctioned a loan of Rs 23 lakh to his brother Pradeep, a victim of Endosulfan poisoning.

“I stared at him with disbelief for a few minutes,” informs Ranjeeth recollecting his response after the submission of project report to the bank manager.

Ranjeeth from Andinje in Beltangady taluk had almost resigned to his fate of working as a farm labourer just like his father.

Two months ago, he attended an awareness talk on schemes being implemented to help the differently abled. He was so impressed that he began seeking the guidance of the speaker Shivappa Rathod, who served as a resource person in Department for Empowerment of Differently-Abled and senior citizens.

Shivappa says he has conducted many awareness programmes for differently-abled in villages across the district. But Ranjeeth was among the few who regularly sought his guidance.

Ranjeeth, with help of experts submitted the project report to Syndicate Bank’s branch in Venur. “Rathod also contacted the bank manager to draw his attention to RBI guidelines on releasing loan to differently-abled,” Ranjeeth said.

On behalf of his brother Pradeep, the third in among five children Ranjeeth submitted the project two months ago. “Without seeking any guarantee or security the bank released Rs 23 lakh. With that loan, we procured an excavator, Hitachi Tata, and in coming months we will raise an additional Rs six lakh to buy a tipper,” informs Ranjeeth brimming with happiness.

Syndicate Bank Venur Branch Manager Ravikanth Nayak playing down his role said the previous manager S John initiated the process of releasing loan to endosulfan victims. “And I completed it,” he said and added that the loan was sanctioned under the micro and small enterprises (MSME) scheme. The loan amount does not have a subsidy, he clarified. Nayak said as branch head it was an opportunity for him to serve the needy.

Shivappa Rathod, deputed as a teacher in government primary school in Kumbra in Puttur taluk, says there are many centres and state-sponsored schemes aimed at helping the differently-abled stand on their feet.

“What we need are managers like Ravikanth Nayak,” stressed Rathod. Ranjeeth says that due to scarcity of labour, the excavator is in great demand and he is confident of repaying the loan.

Ranjeeth says that if not for Shivappa Rathod, he and his brother Pradeep would have continued to remain agricultural labourers.

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