Empowering Society Where It Matters
At SCNL, we strongly believe that community enrichment is the key to success for every organization today and is a measure of how effectively an organization’s mission statement translates into actual practice. While the business of SCNL is finance, the company’s vision and values interpret into the manner in which we conduct our operations and who we offer our services to – SCNL is dedicated to reaching out and touching the lives of financially excluded sections of society and helping widen the range of opportunities for them. The company’s approach to alleviating poverty involves Social Performance Management (SPM), which helps convert SNCL’s social mission into reality. Efficiently deployed, SPM affords a better understanding of customer needs and equips SCNL with the ability to deliver more insightfully designed products and services that can truly help transform a community.
Thanks to its robust standards of client protection measures, SCNL was ‘Client Protection Certified’ in July 2016 by The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client-protection practices into the microfinance industry. Since the launch of this international program in January 2013, a total of 100 institutions across the world spanning Latin America, Eastern Europe and South Asia, have been awarded this certification; and SCNL has now joined the ranks. The ‘Client Protection Certification’ program publicly recognizes organizations that provide financial services to low-income households and whose standards of care uphold the Smart Campaign’s 7 Client Protection Principles, which cover significant topics such as pricing, transparency, fair and respectful treatment and prevention of over-indebtedness.
Surveillance audit of the Certificate conducted by MicroFinanza Ratings Srl (MFR) during October- November 2018, further validated that SCNL continues to fully adhere to the Smart Campaign Client Protection Principles (CPPs).
Center Leader Workshops
SCNL organizes workshops for its centre leaders on different themes such as financial literacy, women empowerment, leadership development, government welfare schemes, on regular basis. In the year 2018, SCNL organised a series of 11 ‘Women Leadership Empowerment Workshops’ across its operational states on financial literacy and leadership empowerment. In the year 2019 also, SCNL has organised a series of centre leader workshops in Assam, on financial literacy and repayment discipline. We will be organising similar workshops across other states as well, in the coming months.
Centre Leader workshops are organized with the objective of strengthening social performance at the grassroots level, by sharing information regarding financial literacy, banking knowledge, Government social security and welfare schemes among others. Discussion on social issues like women empowerment, girl child education, the importance of savings, safe sanitation etc. are also encouraged at these events.
Water & Sanitation Lending
One of the major barriers to safe water and sanitation is affordable financing. Through its water and sanitation lending, SCNL has been constructively working to address this problem since 2016. Since launch of these loans, SCNL has supported more than 1 Lakh households to construct household level toilet or water facility in all the 38 districts of Bihar along with parts of Assam and West Bengal. We are now planning to cover remaining districts of Assam and West Bengal along with launching WASH loans in new geographies. A pan India player with presence in 22 states, SCNL aims to enhance the quality of its clients by enabling access to safe sanitation and water.
SCNL also received an award from Sa-Dhan and Water.org at Sa-Dhan National Conference in September 2019, for “Outstanding Contribution to Water and Sanitation Lending”
Clean Energy Loans
With a view to make villages more independent and progressive, SCNL’s ‘Clean Energy Loans’ initiative serves to further reduce the traditional dependence on kerosene oil for lighting purposes. Towards the end of 2017, SCNL upgraded its simple solar lamp launched the previous year, into a total solar home lighting system, enabling better access to electricity for its customers. The company is presently offering this loan to facilitate the purchase of different solar lighting and home utility products across locations in al the states, where it is operational.
Health Check-up Camps
SCNL regularly runs campaigns focusing on health and hygiene concerns of the community it works with, in addition to organising health check-up camps. These health camps are organised by partnering with the local hospitals. On an average, about 300-400 villagers attend these camps at each location, thus benefiting from completely free health examination and due medical care, provided by expert doctors.
Supporting Local Schools
In a bid to spread awareness on Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan among villagers, SCNL supports local government schools by providing school bags and stationary items to students. SCNL has also installed RO water unit in some schools to facilitate access to clean water for students. The company also holds quiz competitions, organises sanitation and plantation campaigns with local schools, to strengthen its community connect.
Disaster Relief Work
Every year, following the worst of the monsoon, SCNL organizes relief activities and the distribution of ration to villages in the flood hit districts of Assam, Bihar and West Bengal. At the time of cyclone Fani in Odisha, our field teams provided full support and relief, to the communities at affected locations.
The SCNL field team at the affected locations perform a need analysis and alert the company to the specific requirements for victims and flood relief plans, keeping in mind that the objective is to help as many families as possible. In addition to ration distribution at our branch offices, SCNL relief teams also travel to flood hit areas in jeeps and boats in order to distribute ration packages and blankets to the victims.
Training on Client Protection Principles
SCNL’s core operations team is client protection certified. SCNL organized a training program by Micorfinanza Rating Srl, aimed at familiarising operations team with SMART certification 2.0 standards, for addressing any identified gaps and enhancing business practices around client protection. The training was organised in 4 batches across locations for our senior and middle level operations team, in June 2018.