Pudukottai: In a bid to keep the menace of usury at bay and further strengthen communal harmony, some Muslim youths of Ammapattinam, a coastal village here, have joined hands to promote an organisation to provide interest free loans upto Rs 10000 for the economically poor, cutting across barriers of caste and creed.
"In this village taking interest for money is banned,a principle which Islam and other religions also advocates," Mohammed Idris, a founding-member of the organisation, Interest Free Economic Development Centre, said.
The move would also help in further strengthening the communal harmony in the village where about 5000 families comprising Hindu, Christian and Muslim community people live, he said.
Most residents were daily bread earners, working in coir rope spinning units, fish marketing, and farm works.
According to a survey conducted by the organisation 86 families had undergone extreme suffering due to usury, despite the fact the state had banned it. There were incidents of people committing suicide,and working as bonded labourers to repay loans, he said.
The 25-member group, who started the centre with a capital about Rs 10 lakh, lend money depending on the need of the family. "We lend money for paying school fees,or Medical expenses,and for small businessmen.We lend money from Rs.2000 to Rs.10000."
"We give money for all the economically backward people.The only condition is that the money should be repaid within sixty days.So far the money is being repaid in time.."
The centre has disbursed loan of Rs seven lakh to 2000 persons.
"After we started lending interest free loans, usurers do not come to our village.We have banned money lending for high interest in the village," he claimed.
The Muslim youths were also keen to eradicate the dowry menace and have started a movement, another member Mohammen Ansari said.