This article discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on microfinance borrowers in Tamil Nadu, India. Through an examination of the social and financial infrastructures underpinning inclusive finance, the article demonstrates how the COVID-19 pandemic exposes the limits and exclusionary tendencies of the for-profit financial inclusion industry. The unequalizing breakdown of financial inclusion infrastructures during the pandemic prioritizes future revenue extraction over current livelihood needs, throwing hard-hit borrowers back on hierarchical informal financial and social infrastructures to cope with COVID-19-induced risk. Tracing the experiences of poor microfinance borrowers in Tamil Nadu, this article examines how COVID-19 is reshaping inclusive financial infrastructures in ways that reveal the dynamics of exclusion at the heart of financial inclusion.
Depleted by Debt? Focusing a Gendered Lens on Climate Resilience, Credit and Malnutrition in Translocal Cambodia and South India