Project Dhan India
DHAN stands for Development Humane ActioN (www.dhan.org). DHAN began in 1997 in Tamil Nadu, India and is now active in 12 of India’s federal states. They work together with over 30.000 so-called Self Help Groups and thereby reach over 800.000 families. DHAN now has over 600.000 micro insurance policies in effect, on which one or more family-members may be insured. DHAN is active in the fields of health care, education, micro finance (savings, credits and insurance), water management and agriculture. The project has taught MIAN not to look at micro insurance without looking at the context and surrounding circumstances. It is not a goal in itself, but rather a means to an end, which has to fit in with the other programmes.
Over 45,000 inhabitants of Madurai in the Indian province Tamil Nadu now have mutual death risk cover. With that, MIAN has come to the end of the first phase of its project in India after three years.
The project began at the end of 2003 at the initiative of the Rabobank Foundation and Oxfam Novib. The local development organization DHAN, a co-operative with one and a half million members, asked about the possibility of expanding the recently introduced micro-financing project to include micro-insurance.
CWC emanated from the trade union movement in which the founders (Nandana Reddy, Damodar Acharya) were leaders. It was established in the mid eighties in response to complaints from children that trade unions were neglecting them, while they make up a sizable part of the India working force.
It now works in five districts of Karnataka, i.e. Bellary, Uttar Kannada, Udupi and Devangere. The first rural programme is in Udupi (1989) where CWC has a large training centre 'Namma Bhoomi' (2 ha, 90 resident pupils).
Bangalore has the oldest and only urban programme. Thereafter CWC sought to go back to the areas of origin of the migrant workers in order to tackle the problems of migration at its roots, i.e. by empowering children in the villages and enabling their parents (mothers), both economically and politically. The latter is expressed in working with village Panchayats, but without taking any political stance.