Reportage on a planet without equitable or sustainable development.
The Thanjavur Pilots
for two years now, a quiet experiment on how to deliver financial services to india’s rural masses has been underway in and around the ancient temple town of thanjavur, tamil nadu.
travel through the villages of pattukottai, thanjavur and kumbakonam and you will see branches — 57 of them — of a local “bank” called pudhuaaru after the local river. it is a recent entrant to this area. the first branch came up in june 2008. these branches, each occupying roughly 500 sq ft, with bright orange walls, with three youngsters sitting behind counters, with four or five rows of bright green wooden benches before the counters, offering loans, insurance and savings products with remittances slated to follow soon, are surprising rural finance professionals with their results.
I am an Indian journalist with interests in energy, environment, climate and India’s ongoing slide into right-wing authoritarianism. My book, Despite the State, an examination of pervasive state failure and democratic decay in India, was published by Westland Publications, India, in January 2021. My work has won the Bala Kailasam Memorial Award; the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award; and five Shriram Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism. Write to me at email@example.com.
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