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India’s Solidarity Economics: An Indian Feminist Understanding of ROSCAs, Self Help Groups and the Kudumbashree System in Kerala

With Christabell P. J., Department of Economics, University of Kerala

In the solidarity sector, India is well-known for self-help groups. This ability to mobilize groups is no easy feat in a country with a population of 1.35 billion and hundreds of languages and ethnicities bounded by caste, class and such identities. There are various forms of cooperatives—both informal and formal—in India. Part of the diverse financial economies include Chit funds, a rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA), and this system is both informal and regulated. Kerala’s expertise in self-help groups and mutual aid, with innovations such as Chits and Kudumbashree, has earned the state a rightful place as a leading expert on cooperative development. The talk will be based on an Indian feminist understanding of the wide variety of solidarity systems in India and how they affect the lives of the marginalized sections of society.

Dr Christabell P. J. is an academic and researcher in the field of Economics, known for her contributions to social and solidarity economy. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. She is the founder of DISE (Diverse Solidarity Economies) Lab in India, which is funded by the University of Kerala.

Her educational journey began with a Master of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Kerala in 1998 and completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the same university in 2004.

Noteworthy among her books are titles like Women Empowerment through Capacity Building: The role of Micro-Finance, and Inclusive Growth through Social Capital Formation: Is Microfinance an Effective Tool for Targeting Women? She is co-editor with Caroline Shenaz Hossein of Community Economies in the Global South: Case Studies of Rotating Savings, Credit Associations, and Economic Cooperation.

She is recipient of a K N Raj Fellowship on Research Grant for Researchers in Economics from the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram and Publication Grant from the Indian Council of Social Science Research. She has been awarded research funding from agencies including the University Grants Commission, Kerala State Planning Board, ICSSR, Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR), etc.

This event is presented by the Harriet Tubman Institute and the York Centre for Asian Research.


Oct 26 2023


2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Room 314, Third Floor, York Lanes, Keele Campus
Room 314, Third Floor, York Lanes, Keele Campus
The Harriet Tubman Institute


The Harriet Tubman Institute

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