Self Help Groups, or SHGs as they are better known, have come to be accepted in India as a potent means of empowering people who are suck on the wrong side of the poverty line – with special emphasis on rural women. SHGs, typically, consist of a group of 15-20 people who come together with the objective of creating a financial cushion in times of individual or collective exigencies. SHGs also promote independent thinking and inculcate a sense of responsibility since the money and effort involved belong to the members themselves.
Assam is the latest example where SHGs are fostering a silent revolution, as reported by livemint.
The primary aim of setting up SHGs was to address the problem of rural unemployment, remove disillusionment among youth and bring them back to mainstream from the path of militancy, he said. Moreover, gradually the young and educated unemployed rural population are equipping themselves to take up income generating activities by organising themselves into SHGs, Gogoi said.
The article quotes a survey conducted by Nanda Talukdar Foundation to point out that Upper Assam has benefited more from the state government initiative even though the actual intent was to benefit Lower Assam. Further reading of the article brings to front the need for increased planning and study of demographics to ensure that resources are targeted properly and benefit more people with lesser wastage.
While you are still at this post, you may want to read this report on “SHGs in India”. Though a couple of years old, it is educating nevertheless.
Editor’s Note: This post was a contribution of one of our readers, Aishwarya Mishra. Aishwarya has been working in the software industry for close to 4 years. He is passionate about writing and more importantly, working on social issues. You can read his personal views at http://wheredoiblog.blogspot.com and help in his efforts on http://targetingtheroots.blogspot.com
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