Self Help Groups – Together Transforming Lives
Inclusive growth attempts to bridge the various gaps in an economy between the rich and the poor, between rural and urban population and between one region and the other. Inclusive growth ensures that all sections of the society are benefitted by growth process. Even after 70 years of independence and a slew of welfare programmes initiated by state and central governments, rural India is still plagued by the problems of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, economic inequality and gender disparity. of the fruits of rural development programmes of the government is the presence of a large number of Self Help groups (SHGs) working in India at the grass root level especially in rural India on the principles of mutual help, solidarity and joint responsibility. Yet they lag behind in achieving their full potential and efficiency.
NRLM 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.
Building Institutions of the Poor
• The poor women are mobilised into Self-help Groups (SHGs).
• The SHGs are federated at the village and higher levels (cluster, block 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 Cadres ‘social capital’ like Community Resource Persons (CRPs), Master Bookeepers, Bank Mitra, Krishi Sakhi, Pashu Sakhi etc are being engaged for capacity building of SHGs and their federations, who are crucial in making NRLM community driven and sustainable.
As has been said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”