2 June,Dr. Avnish Jolly :Addressing a national level workshop organised for SHGs Federations in New Delhi recently, the Minister said it was the concept of SHG that paved way to eradicate poverty and became instrumental in the empowerment of especially the rural women.
Setting up of a national federation of Self Help Groups (SGHs) was the need of the hour to streamline the processes linked with uplifting the status of the poor and the rural women, the India’s Minister for Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said.
Since the activities of these SHGs encompass a number of formalities, the need for such forum becomes imperative, he added. Thus organising the poor into SHGs and federating them up to the national level would help in streamlining the whole process.
“The activities of the federations range from social mobilisation, articulation of common concerns, organising awareness campaigns, undertaking procurement operations, provision of forward and backward linkages to marketing activities,” Singh said.
Giving an account of the formation of SHGs, the Minister said this help is now being provided under the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY). It has been designed as a holistic self employment scheme aimed at providing sustainable income to rural below poverty line (BPL) families through income generating assets and economic activities so as to bring them out of the poverty line.
It is a process oriented scheme involving processes like organisation of the rural poor (BPL) into SHGs through social mobilisation, capacity building and training, provision of revolving fund, making available credit and subsidy, technology, infrastructure and marketing. The Rural Development Minister said as the provision of employment under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is limited up to 100 days only; it is the self employment that can ensure income to rural folks round the year.
Singh stressed for easy financing of SHGs by the banks and other financial institutions in their endeavours and reiterated on the proper training, skill development and appropriate placement of rural youths so that the problem of distress migration could be sorted out.
He called for concerted efforts by the Nabard, Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (Capart), NGOs and PRIs in providing help to this movement and said a concept paper has been prepared for discussion in this workshop.