Microfi nance for poverty alleviation: analysis of clients’ perspectives and changes in their lives in the state of Manipur, India
Microfi nance has become an important sector in developing countries for providing fi nancial services to the poor people. It helps the poor to increase their income, increase savings and build assets through various income-generation and productive activities. ‘Microfi nance is defi ned as the provision of thrift, credit and other fi nancial services such as money transfer and micro-insurance products for the poor, to enable them to raise their income levels and improve living standard’ (Karmakar 2008). The fi nancial services of microfi nance also include investment credit and need for skill up-gradation and entrepreneurial development that would enable the poor to overcome poverty. Microfi nance has been accepted as the most effective means to alleviate poverty in many developing countries like India, where the central issue of the government is poverty alleviation (Nair 2001).