Nearly 50 victims of Microfinance crisis from Galnewa Jana Udawa village were summoned into the Mediation Board by Kanrich Finance Company yesterday (18), and a lot of cases involved in abusive reclaiming made by Kanrich was publically revealed there.
One woman directly pointed at Kanrich agents at the Mediation Board and asked, “Sir, do you remember you collected our installments and went back, when I was keeping the dead body in front of my house..?”
These women emphasized that the Kanrich Company has no right to accuse them of ignoring the loan payments.
We’d bury you in soil!
“Our essence has been drained out from these companies. When our child was about to sit for his Scholarships, that gentleman from Kanrich came up and said that we’d bury you in the well you jumped in with soil, the one the Government drilled for you”, said by another woman in front of the Mediation Board sharing her experience.
‘The Well the Government drilled’, said by the Kanrich agent, was referred to the program the Government is implementing on paying back these Microfinance companies the amount up to One Hundred Thousand Rupees retrieved by those who are vulnerable to pay back and relieved from the burden. The Microfinance agent’s opinion was that due to the Government’s program the villagers avoid paying the instalments under the impression that the Government will relieve them.
The child who was studying inside the house for the upcoming Scholarships Examination was scared listening to this comment. What he said to his mother before leaving was, “Please mother, be careful. When I return back from exams you and sister may have been killed and thrown into the well and buried by them..”
This incident is another example to emphasize the social epidemic caused by the inhuman behaviour of Microfinance agents in collecting payment instalments by scaring and terrorising the people in their homes. “When the gentleman who collects payments came and shouted at us, he didn’t even think of the mentality of my child. My child went for his Scholarships in that mentality. This is the same thing that happened to a lot of our children who sat for their Advanced Levels”, said by that woman at the Mediation Board today.
We will make you vulnerable to getting any loan in the future!
“We somehow manage to payback the loans sir.. We never want these loans ever again! We have taken these Microfinance loans over the past six years, and there is enough trouble for us already!”, also said by one woman at the Mediation Board.
16 women who were unable to pay instalments for three weeks, their husbands and the sureties have been called in the morning today to the Mediation Board meeting held at the Buddhist Temple at Thambuththegama Monaragala.
The only appeal the villagers made at the meeting was to ease a solution to continue their payments which can meet their capabilities, as they do not wish to avoid the payments in any way.
After repeatedly pledging, and at the request of the members of the Mediation Board, the villagers have finally been requested to submit their appeal in writing by the Kanrich agents. Accordingly, the villagers have submitted a letter briefing their grievance and appealing for a eased method to make the payments, and the agents said, “We put this matter into the Head Office. We’ll implement these appeals only if they approve them. Otherwise all will be brought into the courts.”
Also, it was revealed that this group has been incorrigibly documented at the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka (CRIB) by Kanrich Company. They have said in a threatening manner, “We anyway have put all the names into the CRIB. We work in ways they can never take any other loan from anywhere.”
Dead or alive pay our money!
One woman at the Mediation Board questioned these agents, “Please sir… Is your constitution only about draining from people like us..? Isn’t there anything mentioned in your constitution about any relief in case we are in trouble?”
Then what the Microfinance agent responded with is, “There is no such thing in our constitution.”
When that woman further questioned him, “Then are we supposed to pay with our lives?”, what he has responded with is, “That is not relevant to us.”
“They find no value in our lives.. All they need is money. They showed their cruelty out loud”, she said to Lanka News Web.
Lanka News Web is now all eyes and ears on how Kanrich Company is going respond to this problem, and will continue to contribute the media support to bring readers the true face and the ground-bound reality of this crisis.
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Special Thanks – Attorney Radika Gunaratne – Nelumyaya Foundation
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