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Government Of Assam Panchayat & Rural Development Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM)

Key Programmes

  • Social Mobilization, Institution Building & Capacity Building

    DAY-NRLM aims at targeting and bringing all rural poor households out of poverty. It endeavours to identify the poor in a participatory manner and mobilize all the identified poor women into their own institutions of poor. It seeks universal social, financial and livelihoods inclusion of the poor, beginning with forming affinity-based groups of poor women with common bonding and synergistic functioning.

    • At least one member from each poor household would be brought under the Self-Help network.
    • The community itself identifies the poor and most vulnerable households from its population through Participatory Identification of Poor (PIP) process.
    • The list of the poor so identified is vetted by the Gram Sabha and approved by the Gram Panchayat. These poor households will be eligible for benefits under NRLM. PIP is an important step towards community participation and community ownership of NRLM programmes.
    • Special efforts are made to identify vulnerable and marginalized households – SCs/STs, single women and women headed households, disabled, landless, migrant labourers, isolated communities and communities living in remote, hilly and disturbed areas. 

    Harnessing Latent Potential of rural poor

    ASRLMS organizes all poor households (women) into aggregate institutions of the poor that provide them with voice, space and resources. These platforms ‘of the poor’ and ‘for the poor’ would partner with local self-governments, public service providers, banks, private sector and other mainstream institutions to facilitate delivery of social and economic services to the poor.

    Under the Mission, a total of 68531 Women SHGs have already been promoted and strengthened through various trainings in 63 intensive blocks.  These SHGs are further federated at village level to form Village Organization (VO) to strengthen the capacity of the poor women in socio-economic development. A total of 3753 nos. of Village Organization (VOs) have been promoted with 10-15 SHGs in each VO.

    Building Institutions of the Poor

    • The poor are mobilised into Self-help Groups (SHGs).
    • The SHGs are federated at the village and higher levels (cluster, block/sub-district, district).
    • Existing institutions of the poor are strengthened and integrated into the institutional architecture of the poor.
    • The SHG members are trained to manage their institutions, linking up with markets, managing their existing livelihoods, enhancing their credit absorption capacity and credit worthiness, etc.
    • NRLM also promotes livelihoods collectives that help poor to enhance their livelihoods through deriving economies of scale, backward and forward linkages, and access to information, credit, technology, markets etc.
    • Community professionals, Community Resource Persons (CRPs) and ‘community heroes’ are beingengaged for capacity building of SHGs and their federations.
    • NRLM invests in building ‘social capital’ – community animators, activists, CRPs, etc., who are crucial in making NRLM community driven and sustainable.

    Building Capacities 

    • NRLM ensures the poor are provided with the requisite skills for managing their institutions, linking up with markets, managing their existing livelihoods, enhancing their credit absorption capacity and credit worthiness.
    • A multi-pronged approach is adopted for providing continuous capacity building of the targeted families, SHGs, their federations, government functionaries, bankers, NGOs and other key stakeholders.
    • Focus is to develop and engage community professionals and community resource persons (CRP) for capacity building of SHGs and their federations and other collectives.
    • NRLM plans to use ICT as an important tool in knowledge dissemination and making capacity building more effective.
    • The costs incurred on professional support the block and sub-block levels are considered as programme costs and not administrative costs.

    Financial Inclusion

    Microfinance through Self Help Groups (SHGs) has become an important vehicle to meet the savings and credit needs of the poor, especially women in rural areas.
    It has been observed that the financial development of the SHGs and improved access to banking and related services not only accelerate their economic growth but also reduce income inequality and poverty.

    The core of the DAY-NRLM financial inclusion and investment strategy is “making poor the preferred clients of the banking system and mobilizing bank credit”.

    The broader goal of financial Inclusion intervention through DAY-NRLM is also to create an ambience of trust with regard to banking with the poor. It aims at creating institutions of the poor who will be empowered enough to run the institution on merits of financial prudence and sustainability.

    Financial Literacy programmes and community funds like RF & CIF provided under ASRLMS are significantly helping in breaking the initial inertia by catering to the smaller consumption and production needs of the SHG members. This also enhances the management skills of community.

    But, Financial Inclusion can no longer be treated as a fringe subject. It has to be recognized as an important part of the mainstream thinking on economic development of the poor. And for this, Bank Linkage is one of the major sources for capitalizing SHGs, so that, members can avail multiple credits for taking up activities for up-liftment of their livelihood.

    Capitalizing Institutions of the Poor

    To accelerate the process of internal lending and increasing the size of the corpus of SHGs, Revolving Fund is provided @Rs.10000 (for Non-Intensive Blocks) and @Rs.15000 (for Intensive Blocks) per SHG after completion of 3 months of formation and follow “Panchasutra”.

    SHGs (more than 6 months old) adopting Panchasutra” and following good management and financial norms and  demonstrating  proper use of savings, and revolving fund,  are supported further with provision of CIF through Micro-credit Plan (MCP) mode for enlarging opportunities  for livelihoods  and various other social needs

    • To access loans and undertake income generation activities individually as per the Micro Credit Plan and increase their incomes
    • Rs. 50000 – Rs.60000 per SHG as CIF Loan
    • Members of SHG will repay the loan to CLF through SHG-VO

    Access to Credit

    NRLM expects that the investment in the institutions of the poor would leverage bank credit of at least Rs.1,00,000 /- accessible to every household in repeat doses over the next five years.

    Bank linkages to SHGs is a core area to stabilize livelihoods, each member of the SHG will need about Rs 1 lakhs in repeat doses over next 5-6 years. Bank Credit to the SHG are facilitated by

    • Organizing workshop/meetings on Financial Inclusion at different level
    • Participating  in SLBC, DCC,DLRC,BLBC meetings by Financial Inclusion team of ASRLMS
    • Organizing SHG Credit Camp in collaboration with all major operating banks
    • Selection and placing Bank Mitras, formation and capacity building of Community Based Recovery Mechanism (CBRM) committees.

    As per Reserve Bank of India norms, the loan amounts that should be sanctioned to SHG are as follows

    • First dose: Rs. 50,000 or 4-8 times of the proposed corpus whichever is higher.
    • Second dose: Rs. 1 lakhs or 5- 10 times of corpus whichever is higher.
    • Third dose: Minimum of Rs. 2 lakhs, based on the MCP
    • Fourth dose onwards: Loan amount can be between Rs. 5-10 lakhs based on the MCP.

    Under Interest Subvention Scheme of Govt. of India, eligible women SHGs from 4 districts viz. Dhemaji, Jorhat, Nagaon and Hailakandi can access bank credit at an interest rate of 4% per annum. Govt. of Assam has taken initiatives to provide interest subvention so that eligible women SHGs from the remaining 23 districts can also access bank credit at an interest rate of 7 % per annum.

    Triggers

    Financial literacy camps and trainings are organized to make SHG members knowledgeable about finance in a way that is relevant to their lives and allowing them to use this knowledge to evaluate products and can better utilize cash/ credit.

    Orientation workshop, Exposure visits for bankers and stakeholders organized at state, district and block level. Programmes on financial management of RF, CIF and VRF fund; credit counseling organized in phases. ASRLMS has already entered into formal partnership arrangements (MoUs) with major operating banks in order to develop a shared commitment to increase access to financial services to our SHGs.

    Identification, training and strengthening of Bank Mitras as intermediates and catalyst between banks and SHGs in providing handholding support for opening bank accounts and in availing other financial services by the SHGs and SHG members. ASRLMS has already identified a maximum of 352 nos of Bank Mitras in the intensive blocks and placed after training.

    Recovery initiatives – Community Based Recovery Mechanism (CBRM) committees have been formed in the intensive blocks for proper coordination between the community and bank branches for implementation and augmenting SHG bank linkage programme under NRLM. Regular holding of SLBC Sub-Committee, DLRC and BLBC meetings have been initiated in all districts. Regular monitoring & review of progress on SHG Bank Linkage are done.

    Credit Camps at State, District & Block level – In collaboration with all major operating banks, series of credit camps are being held where either ceremoniously or at bank branches, loans are being sanctioned/disbursed to eligible SHGs.

    Livelihoods promotion

    Transforming Lives

    DAY-NRLM focuses on stabilizing and promoting existing livelihoods portfolio of the poor through its three pillars – 

    • ‘vulnerability reduction’ and ‘livelihoods enhancement’ through deepening/enhancing and expanding existing livelihoods options and tapping new opportunities in farm and non-farm sectors;
    • ‘employment’ - building skills for the job market outside; and
    • ‘enterprises’ - nurturing self-employed and entrepreneurs (for micro-enterprises).

    Assam's economy is fundamentally based on agriculture. Agriculture sector continues to support more than 75 percent of the State directly or indirectly providing employment of more than 53 percent of the total workforce. Assam occupies a geographical area of 7.8 million hectares of which total cropped area is 4.0 million hectares. However, only 5.4% of the gross cultivated area is irrigated and the average cropping intensity of the state is 145.9%.

    Animal Husbandry sector has significant impact on employment generation in the State and plays a vital role in income generation of both the rural and semi-urban economy. A significant proportion of landless labourers, small and marginal farmers have access to livestock resources and the acceleration in the growth of livestock sector in Assam offers significant opportunities for household income augmentation and employment generation. It also performs an important input functions in terms of contributing draught power and dung to crop production.

    According to the 19th Livestock Census 2012 total livestock population of Assam is 19.08 million, the cattle population constitutes the largest group with 54.02% followed by goat population 32.23% and pig 8.5%. Mostly indigenous population of livestock are prevalent in the state. Some of the important Goat breeds found in Assam are Assam Hill goat, Assam Local Goat. Crossed breeds and exotic cattle have 395900 populations as per 2012 census.

    In Assam, Handloom weaving is inexorably linked with Assamese Culture and Heritage. Handloom Industry of Assam provides maximum number of employment after agriculture is known for its rich glorious tradition of making handloom and handicraft products. Handloom is a precious part of generational legacy and has been kept alive by the skilled weavers engaged in the age old tradition of weaving since antiquity in Assam. More than 16.43 lakh handloom workers are working in handloom sector. Thus, about 30.44 lakh weavers and allied workers involved with handloom activities in the State.

    Farm Livelihood Strategy and Key activities proposed

    ASRLMS in coming years will focus on both Agriculture and Livestock during coming years. The livelihood intervention is around the following dimensions:

    • Screening and Identification of best practices
    • Formation of Livelihood sub-committees in VOs
    • Capacity building of Livelihood sub-committee member & SHG members
    • Utilization of Livelihood fund/ Marketing & Infrastructure Fund
    • Producers Groups in the field of agriculture, dairy, poultry, piggery, fishery, handloom etc. will be formed & strengthened.

    The major Livelihood layering proposed under the resource blocks and intensive blocks are promotion and up-gradation of agricultural practices, efficient irrigation based vegetable cultivation, livestock intervention and dairy particularly in the project areas where significant level of social mobilization has been carried out. Also, in Handloom sector, major emphasis will be given. The layering would be done intensively in the areas where Village Organisation has come into existence.

    For better delivery of service to the SHG members, two types of community cadres viz. Pashu Sakhis and Krishi Sakhis will be developed from the SHG members.

    ASRLMS, through Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP), is promoting and facilitating scaling-up successful, small-scale projects that enhance women’s participation and productivity in agriculture and allied activities.

    Social Development

    In order to ensure that no poor family is left out, ASRLMS envisages would use differential strategies for social inclusion of all identified rural poor households into functionally effective and self-managed institutions, with particular focus on more vulnerable sections like Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), single women and women headed households, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), landless, migrant labour, isolated communities and communities living in remote, hilly and disturbed areas. It would identify the poorest and vulnerable through participatory identification of poor (PIP). The mobilization would begin with them first. The mobilization effort would progress with the satisfactory community readiness and milestones for various stages of mobilization and graduation as evolved and tested in a participatory manner. Existing institutions, their leaders, staff and community resource persons (CRPs) would support the processes of inclusion and mobilization.ASRLMS envisages in the areas of : (i) Food, Nutrition, Health and Sanitation (WASH) , (ii) Increased access of the vulnerable to the entitlements and public service,  (iii)    Ensuring complete inclusion of vulnerable groups for all entitlements and public services, (iv) Mainstreaming of gender in all activities:

    • With the objective to minimize the IMR, MMR among pregnant women and adolescent girls especially in tea garden areas of Assam, 24 Nutrition Shops (Bagan Bazar) had been established, and establishment of another 40 such Bagan Bazars is in process. CSPs have been installed within these Bagan Bazars, which have strengthened the economic viability of these shops. During next financial year, extension of these Nutrition Shops may be considered.
    • Convergence with line departments will be initiated for hygiene and sanitation of rural poor. Vulnerable groups will be identified through PIP process, for further linking them with line departments.

    Partnerships – with NROs/NSOs/implementation agencies and other institutions for mainstreaming convergence, inclusion and FNHW, besides improving capitalization, livelihoods and income

    1.Partnership with organization for development of training modules and ToT: ASRLMS will look for partners or SIRD or NIRD-RC to provide capacity building and training of staff, government officials and other stakeholders, develop training modules for training of VOs, CLF, etc. to strengthen the process of social mobilization. Also, a pool of trainers will be developed through ToTs that will be done through partner organizations.

    2.Partnership with institutes of excellence, learning centers: partnerships will be initiated with IIM-Shillong, IRMA, TISS for capacity building of professionals of ASRLMS to facilitate the process of understanding the various dimensions of poverty and strategizing pro-poor interventions.