February 8, 2023

Social media is in uproar with posts about a woman named Sidra Humaid who allegedly ran over a hundred online ‘committees’ – also known as ballot committees – and publicly admitted that she has fallen severely behind in making payments to members. Estimates have put the figure at a whopping Rs420 million.

So many questions come to mind: why was this woman trusted by so many? Is this a Ponzi scheme? What does this say about female financial inclusion and awareness?

But let’s start with: what happened?

On her personal Facebook page, Humaid put up a long post on November 27 in which she said “I have really messed up my committees and now I am practically bankrupt and have no means to pay off my committees.”

She promised that she is not running away and wants to pay everyone back in coming months. But how?

Humaid claims she runs two online businesses, Croise, which makes crochet items, and Daily Bites, a food delivery company. It seems after her post, people have been reporting her business pages to Facebook, which might make it difficult for her to continue operating them.

That’s probably why her post says that if these two businesses “are allowed to continue … then I would be able to earn and pay off my loans”.

It is hard to imagine the two businesses making her Rs420 million any time soon.

She also wants her committees, in which she is a participant, to continue “without me paying from now onwards then at least I would be…

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