It started with fights over water
It was a daily ritual for Murugayee in her village in India - standing in line for an hour to collect water from a public water supply. Fights, injuries and visits to the police station were common when the queues grew unbearably long. Finally driven by frustration to find a better solution, Murugayee, together with five neighbours, took up a loan to install a piped water connection to their homes. She is now repaying this loan via monthly instalments and enjoys a tremendous improvement in her quality of life.
Birth of Milaap
Such heart-warming stories have been made possible by Milaap, an online micro-lending platform that helps India’s working poor. It was set up by NUS School of Computing alumni Anoj Viswanathan and Sourabh Sharma, together with Mayukh Choudhury whom Anoj met while on internship in India. Milaap enables individuals to give micro-loans starting as low as $25. They can select a specific borrower or project to support and receive updates in terms of monthly repayments and loan utilisation. Once the loan is fully repaid, the lender can either choose to withdraw their capital or re-lend it to someone else, thus multiplying its impact. Milaap aims to improve the lives of the poor in India through empowering them in responsible ways. It was started with help from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Practicum Grant from NUS Enterprise.