Self Help Group | Sociology IQ

Self Help Group | Sociology IQ

Self Help Groups (SHGS)

Self Help Groups (SHGS) are informal associations of individuals who prefer to close to seek out ways to enhance their living conditions. They assist in augmenting the capacity of the individuals to generated income, to develop a consciousness to enhance their socio-economic conditions and to ascertain themselves as active agents within the process of development. The effect of SHG movement has been phenomenal especially among the ladies .

Evolution of SHG Movement in India

The first organized initiative during this direction was taken in Gujarat in 1954 when the Textile Labour Association (TLA) of Ahmedabad formed its women’s wing to arrange the ladies belonging to the household of mill workers so as to coach them in primary skills like sewing, knitting embroidery etc.

In 1972, it had been given a more systematized structure when Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) was formed as a union under the leadership of Ela Bhatt. She organized women workers like hawkers, home based operators like weavers, papad/agarbatti makers etc. the general intention was to arrange women for financial condition .

Currently SEWA features a membership strength of 9,59,000 which is predominantly urban. Formation of Tamilnadu Women in Agriculture Programme (TANWA) 1986, Participatory Poverty Reduction Programme of Kerala (Kudumbashree) 1995, Tamilnadu Women’s Development Project (TNWDP) 1989 and MYRADA, a NGO in Karnataka were a number of the organizations formed since the last 20 years in several states in India. This gave firm footing to SHG movement in India, The SHG movement has been so successful in its objectives that today it’s considered together of the ‘strategies’ for alleviating poverty and for rural development.

Some Success Stories of Self Help Group Movement

1. Andhra Pradesh : Women Empowerment – The Key in Eradicating Poverty In Andhra Pradesh women are placed within the fore front of development agenda through formation of women’s self help groups. The social mobilization through these SHGS is additionally being utilized for implementing the poverty alleviation programmes also. SHGS are organized in federations with branches at the village, block and therefore the district levels. A registered autonomous body referred to as Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) has been established by the government for supporting the SHGS and for sensitizing the road departments of the state governments and therefore the banks etc. towards the requirements of SHGS. The key impact of the SHG movement in Andhra Pradesh has been the empowerment of around 14 lakh women. Around 20,000 community resource persons are identified by the state for facilitating the social mobilization.

2. Tamil Nadu : Self Help Groups – Harbingers in Rural Development the agricultural development department of the government has taken lead in establishing the SHGS in Tamil Nadu. it’s helped in generation of livelihood employment for the members of those groups. The members of the group save regularly and contribute their savings towards establishing a fund called as “group corpus”. the dimensions of a perfect SHG varies from 5 to 20 depending upon the density of population of the world . Only the groups belonging to the members below the poverty level are chosen for state support by the govt . the choices within the group like giving loans to the members from the group corpus are taken on participatory basis. the govt has made it a rule that in each block 50 you look after the groups would be for ladies only and a special provision has been incorporated for the physically handicapped people.

3. Kerala: Kudumbashree – Realisation of Community because the Key in implementing Development Programmes Kudumbashree is that the state poverty eradication mission launched by the Kerala government in 1998. It objective is to eradicate absolute poverty within 10 years under the leadership of local self government. Kudumbashree emphasizes that each one the developmental programmes concerning nutrition, poverty alleviation, SC/ST development etc. should be travel by the community based organizations with the active support of Panchayati Raj Institutions. Under this programme women are organized into Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) consisting of roughly 20 to 40 women. These NHGS are organized into federations at the village, block and therefore the district levels. The group meets once during a week. These NHG meetings end in the formation of “micro plans”. Different micro-plans are harmonized at the district level and it’s called “Community Development Society Plan” which is that the anti poverty sub plan of the local self government. During this way poor participate within the planning process and therefore the implementation of anti poverty plans.

Within the Kudumbashree model, women’s empowerment is being adopted as an strategy towards the last word goal of poverty eradication. Women within the past were considered as voiceless and powerless but now they need income earning means then can assert their role within the society. This assertiveness is being transferred to their girl child also . Not only in India in other countries like Bangladesh, Bolivia, Indonesia, Mexico etc. the Self Help Group movement is paving the way for community empowerment. it’s led to significant reduction of poverty in these countries. In Bangladesh, Grameen Bank was established by Mohammad Yunus in 1976 and by 1994 it had around two million clients. Mostly women are its clients. Currently, Grameen Bank serves nearly 7 million poor people across 73,000 villages in Bangladesh and out of those people 97 you’re women. Giving loans for income generation scheme remains the core activity of this bank.

The self help group movement has also led to the substantial improvement within the health and nutritional status of girls and youngsters within the society. On issues like dowry, birth control , health care nutritional status, sanitation etc an awareness is generated by the SHGS as is being done by Grameen Bank in Bangladesh or in Indian states like Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu and Kerala, This has led to the changing of attitudes of rural women.

Impact of SHG Movement

A NABARD Study group movement has also led to the substantial improvement in the health and s of women and children in the society. On issues like dowry, family planning, health al status, sanitation etc. an awareness is generated by the SHGS as is being done by Grameen Bank in Bangladesh or in Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

NABARD has carried a study on the effect of Self Help Group Movement on the rural life in India and its results were published in 2000.

The findings are mentioned below:

1. 58 % of the families surveyed reported an increase in assets. The average value of assets per household has been increased by around 72 %.
2. There was a three-fold increase in the savings by households.
3. 70 % of the loans taken in the post-SHG period went towards the income generation ventures.
4. Employment expanded by 18 %
5. Participation in groups significantly increased the self confidence of the members especially the women. Women became more assertive in their social and family issues
6. SHG movement has reduced the dependency of villagers on traditional money lenders
7. In women and children the SHG movement has significantly reduced the child mortality, improved health and education.



Rural Development

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