In India, traditional financial institutions such as MFIs, NBFCs, Nationalized / commercial / private banks and local money lenders are in the field of micro lending operations among the poorer communities both in rural and urban for livelihood promotion, income generating activities, consumption loans etc., But, no institution in India engaged in lending operations for the creation of drinking water connections and house hold toilets for the poorer communities in urban and rural. Access to safe drinking water and toilet facilities at the households are still inadequate. Hence, addressing the need of the communities which lacks household water and toilet facilities requires financial support for creating such infrastructures at household level.
GUARDIAN, a Micro Finance Institution is a brain child of Gramalaya, an NGO working on water and sanitation in urban and rural villages for about two and a half decades with lending practices with the communities through revolving loan fund supported by WaterAid, UK and WaterPartners International, USA for creating individual infrastructure facilities on water and sanitation and succeeded in its attempt with prompt repayment from the beneficiaries. It has financed over Rs.1 crore (10 million rupees) exclusively for creating individual water and sanitation facilities. Its intervention on water and sanitation among the poor and marginalized communities yielded significant improvement on health, hygiene behaviors and practices such as toilet usage and hand washing with soap during critical times. By way of successful interventions in the following areas, it has succeeded in its attempt to empower the women groups as social intervention.
Hence, the main focus of micro credit operations of Guardian is water credit and wants to be a proven model MFI for water and sanitation.