A self-help group is also known as an SHG, these are groups of 15-20 members formed in rural areas. These groups provide financial assistance and aid to women; it is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM). It was originally started in 2011 and grew predominantly by 2012-13. By 2025 the government aims at creating and reaching about 80 million households in India. The first-ever SHG was formed in Ahemdabad in 1972 called self-employed women's association to provide security for women folks in the unorganized sector. Certain groups are also allowed to take micro-loans from banks on credit, though the government formalized the sector in 1999 it become stable under the NRLM. The functioning of the group, a set of women meet and pool resources; to avail loan from banks at lower interest rates for its members. These groups also tend to discuss other problems as well except finance; also they tend to teach each other about finance, banking, loans, etc. The NRLM has linked these groups to Village level associations and also has trained women to run these groups. This in turn will increase their accessibility to funds from various sources and banks. This also increased the income of the members and they could also invest in certain of their requirements. These groups are bound by five principles that are to meet regularly, save, pay on time, maintaining proper books of accounts, loans among members. These groups help families find livelihood by taking loans for livestock, setting up shops, providing better agriculture equipment and facilities, etc. These groups provide for the empowerment of rural women and also to help them gain better confidence by providing support and care. The state of Rajasthan as also planned to provide an online portal for helping these groups in marketing. These groups have also been a key in manufacturing and compensating the requirements in masks, sanitizers, PPE kits and have also set up community kitchens, etc during the pandemic. One of the major advantages of such a group is their practice of decision making and creating independence among women. The SHGs create economic autonomy and hence by incorporating other basic useful livelihood mechanisms into these groups is of immense help as they tend to make women self-sustaining. Providing basic vocational training shall also benefit the members in finding alternative employment and generation of income for a better lifestyle. SHGs help women to knit dreams through self-created finance.
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Tags : #Rural India #women SHGs