It is no doubt a challenge both to social activists and unions to innovate new strategies towards expansion and sustainability of spontaneous peoples' initiatives. The linking of economic activities to unions makes it advantageous as informal sector workers are made to perceive themselves in their class roles (as a worker) in addition to access to credit achieving a dignified livelihood etc.

On the other hand, the neighbourhood approach and the group dynamics adopted at WWF, deals with diverse needs of the clients such as business counselling, social support system, solidarity and so forth. The provision of the credit process served as a training ground to gain clout, share and solve mutual problems, in short devising an alternate strategy for their survival.

To quote Dr. Kalpagam, Professor, G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad, "The objective of credit interventions is to relieve women engaged in subsistence occupations from the clutches of moneylenders and middlemen by providing them working capital at low rates of interest. Individually, it reduces the interest burden as well as provides women with certain autonomy, access and control over resources, and enhances their contribution to household income. These individual effects are the outcome of supplying cheap credit. The most striking impact of WWF is however, the 'collective consciousness' and 'collective action' generated by the manner in which credit interventions are organised".

This apart, women in the Forum have assumed leadership roles in the household and community, accumulated capital savings, assets, ensured household food security, and are vanguards of social integration through this new model of development based on gender and equity, created and managed by poor women. From days of living in isolation and in a secluded world, women have come a long way to emerge as successful community leaders.

Although commercial bankers have always perceived the poor and their ventures as non-bankable, the co-operative effort of WWF was successful in its effort to initiate an informal credit system, that could solve the problem of insecurity of production, credit required immediately by poor women to ply their business or trade. Thus, by linking up the poorest of women's groups with credit support and through its unique grassroots organisational structure, the Working Women's Forum, has provided assets to disadvantaged poor women to improve the quality of their lives.

WWF's Co-operative movement called Indian Co-operative Network for Women is an example of innovative venture in co-operation that has not only opposed state controls and interventions but initiated self-management, participatory approaches with workers so as to maintain democratic standards in the struggles of its members. WWF's members have confronted bureaucracy, government control and also tried to relieve them from the domination of urban elites and rural rich making it a vehicle to serve poor women and their families.

Also read:
Highlights of the Indian Co-Operative Network For Women
Credit and Savings