Why do people trust each other? Is it mutual trust or self-interest that brings people together to form groups? How far does the theory of rational choice, and its accompanying individualism, penetrate the concept of social capital? Is there a relationship between social cohesiveness in groups and financial success? Such questions generate interest in the conditions that promote association and group emergence, including trust, reliability, reciprocity, and shared values, inherent factors for cohesion; in how these factors function; and in what other elements, apart from repayment and meeting attendance, ensure the sustainability of “Self Help Groups” (SHGs). These questions are also vital for the expansion of microfinance programs. With the above questions in mind, this study will investigate whether microfinance institutions among Muslim women in Hyderabad address saving, which is generally unacceptable to Muslims due to the attached element of interest. What strategies have microfinance institutions employed to promote the inclusion of Muslims? What are the local modes of saving available to the Muslim women that allow them to invest money without infringing basic Islamic tenets? What are their structures and mechanisms and how do these local models help the women address future crisis?
About the Researcher(s)
Dr. Rosina Nasir is an anthropologist by training and working as an Assistant Professor, at the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP), School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad. She has completed her Masters in Anthropology and Doctorate of Philosophy in Anthropological Demography from Delhi University. She has been awarded the prestigious C.R. Parekh award, London School of Economics, 2010-2011. Besides this, she has obtained fellowship from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, for one year for training in Integrated Geriatric Care. She has been associated as fellow and awarded research support from the Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics (LSE), London, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Shastri Indo Canadian Institute (SICI), Microfinance Research Alliance Program (MRAP), Ford Foundation, and Indian Council of Social Sciences Research (ICSSR), India. She has contributed research articles in international journals, such as the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Man in India, The Eastern Anthropologist, and The Anthropologist. Her areas of academic research are microfinance, Islamic microfinance, social capital, Muslims and exclusionary processes, and secularism in India.