Annapurna Mahila Credit Co-operative Society
Mrs. Prema Purao, was a freedom fighter in the Goa liberation struggle .She had also been an activist in the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, Girni Kamgar Union and Bharatiya Mahila Federation. As a Trade Unionist, she saw women's problems for the first time. Despite the fact that these were long standing problems of women, it had earlier not been the center of any organizational work. When male labourers themselves were hard put to find work, who cared about women’s problems? Prema Purao, affectionately called “Tai” (Elder Sister) however, recognized their true potential and refused to relegate their problem to the background. She knew that solution to their problems was intense to the movement for workers rights.
In 1975, with the backing of Dada Purao, who was Secretary of the All India Bank Employees Union & Prematai’s husband, the Annapurna Mahila Mandal was formally registered as a Charitable Trust and Society. Annapurna means the Goddess of Food. As per the folklore, Annapurna is a woman who successfully takes charge of her household and provides for the whole world, at a time when her husband deserts her. Annapurna represents a woman that is organized, socially aware, economically independent and self reliant. As opposed to the unorganized, exploited and humiliatingly oppressed Khanawalwali.
Initially the office functioned from Prematai’s house. Eventually the need for office was felt by the Annapurna members. They raised a building fund by putting together a small sum of Rs 100/- each. This fund was augmented by the Government and Donor Agencies.
In 1986, to allow the organization’s growth to follow its path in an appropriate legal structure, Annapurna registered a credit cooperatives Society. After this registration followed a period of steady growth and diversification that saw Annapurna open several catering units, a trainings centre etc. In 2004 however, Prematai retired and handed over the managing direction of Annapurna structures of Mumbai to her daughter Medha Purao Samant who still manages the organisation today.
An empowered woman in a sustainable family.
Annapurna Mahila Credit Cooperative Society is catering loans & Savings services to its communities as well as non-financial services in the form of business related trainings as well as family budget trainings.
Annapurna seeks to develop tremendously in the year 2008-09 throughout Mumbai by opening branches in new area and increasing the volume of activity in existing branches. It also aims at deploying further its non financial services activities in all its branches while availing its members all services available in Annapurna Parivar other structures (crèches, health insurance, job placement, etc.)
Geographical areas of Intervention
Branches in Lower Parel/Bycaulla/Dadar, Chembur, Mankhurd & Thane/Navi Mumbai.
Registered as a multi-state Credit Cooperative Society since 1986.