Growth of Development

No of families covered under ABHA
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    For THP
No of branches covered under ABHA
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    For THP

Axis Bank Bandhan Holistic Assistance(ABHA)

The idea

The basic premise of traditional development programs has been a broad-brush identification of the poor as a homogenous entity. As a result they have relegated the varying needs of the different echelons of the poor in favor of a ‘collective’ approach towards poverty alleviation. This approach fails to reach out to humanity at its poorest and most distressed, aptly termed as ‘ultra-poor.’ In order to cater to that deprived population Bandhan started its Chartering into Unventured Frontiers—Targeting the Hard core Poor (THP) Program in 2006.

Presently, the program is reaching out to 5,000 hard core poor families, out of which 96.88% of the eligible families (who have completed 2 years) have already graduated to mainstream finance. Considering the huge swathes of population living in extreme poverty, the intervention was a watershed one, but not adequate. Thousands of ultra-poor families were still left out of the ambit of the THP intervention. Scaling up the program was the crying need of the hour. This led to the emergence of ABHA (Axis Bank Bandhan Holistic Assistance) Program. Through this program, Bandhan in collaboration with Axis Bank Foundation would reach out to 50,000 ultra-poor families over the next 5 years from the poverty stricken districts of West Bengal: Murshidabad and South 24 Parganas (25,000 families in each district.)

The methodology, processes and other components of ABHA program are similar to that of THP since the latter has already demonstrated its efficacy and impact.

Selection of program periphery

West Bengal is mired in poverty, and more than 27 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. Empirical studies reveal startling facts about the poverty scenario in two districts of West Bengal namely, Murshidabad and South 24 Parganas, which are home to around 4,50,000 ultra-poor families.

ABHA is expected to be a crusade in realizing the vision of a more equitable society, where the poorest-of-the-poor share the benefits of growth- a modest attempt to achieve financial inclusion in true sense of the term.

Program Highlights

Performance of the ABHA program has been mentioned below. These data are all as of January , 2015.

No Particulars Total
1 Districts 2
2 Branches 122
3 Villages 1,379
4 Beneficiaries 19,357
5 Staff 272