As a proactive move to minimise the unsuspecting public from falling into traps laid by loan sharks, Surat Police on Tuesday, organised a loan camp with the help of 15 nationalized and state cooperative banks in the district.
Nearly 1,200 people lined up and submitted their documents with the bank’s representatives present at the camp held at the community hall, police headquarters, Athwalines.
In its publicity drive, the police informed about the loan camp through pamphlets and distributed them among auto rickshaw drivers, roadside vendors and cart pullers. The police control room number (100) was shared with those who were interested.
Over 500 police personnel were deployed at the community centre to help the loan applicants.
Among those who applied for loans was Meena Mukesh Gavde (35), a resident of Sachin area. Gavde works at a hospital, has applied for a loan of Rs 50,000, to purchase a cart to sell vegetables.
“I have free time during the evening, so I have applied for a loan to purchase handcarts to sell vegetables. Our income is not sufficient to meet the house expenses and my children’s education,” she says.
Another applicant, Chhyaben More (29), a resident of Pandesara shared that she needs additional income because her alcoholic husband does not bring in any money. “I have two children and my husband is a habitual drinker. I sell vegetables on the roadside to run my family. I have applied for a loan of Rs. 50,000 with which I will purchase a handcart and will also have a vendor’s license.”
Briefing media present on the occasion, Surat Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Tomar stated: “Money lenders were charging upto 20% interest rates. We have taken strict steps against loan sharks. Now we have to think about those in need of money. In the next couple of days, we will be able to correctly estimate the number of beneficiaries of this scheme.
He added that those interested can inquire about details from Number 100. In recent times, Surat Police arrested over 255 people and registered over 150 offences against loan sharks operating in the district. Among those arrested, five have been booked under Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA).
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