Friday, January 18, 2013

Status of Women Self Help Group (SHG) in LIFE project villages

Women Self Help Groups are now entered in to the businesses model o, where they are engaged in to income generation activities and marketing of it!

Total Target
SJVS-Banswara (Till Jan 2012)
SJVS-Banswara (Till Jul 2012)
RCDSSS-Ajmer (till Jan 2012)
RCDSSS-Ajmer (till Jul 2012)
Total (till Jul 2012)
Formation of SHGs
SHGs linked with the local bank
1 ( Banswara project no SHG formation, as most of the women are already in SHGs)
SHGs started IGA
SHGs functioning effectively[1]  ( on the basis of monitoring tools attached in the annexure)

Source: Monthly cluster reports and field visit of Caritas India project staff

In the SHGs there is the concept of saving, where as in the farmers club saving is optional. Out of 20 farmers club around 10 are doing the monthly saving of 100 rupees  and this saving amount they are using for the purchase of agriculture equipments for common use and supporting the needy farmer for cultivation work.

On the other hand when we talk about the saving of SHGs It is also worth to observe that in SHGs ( with an average 15 members per SHGs) on an average saving is Rs. 50 per month so in this way through LIFE project team efforts women collectiveness in the form of SHGs are able to save:

Total SHGs=26
Average membership=15
Total members in SHGs =26X15=390
Average saving amount per member per month=50 INR
Total saving in a month =26X15X50= 19500

Average age of SHGs= 24 months
Total (approx) saving till July 2012= 19500X24=468000 INR

From the above we could easily conclude that INR 468000 amount LIFE project is somewhere financially securing the present and the future of the women from the Rajasthan region. Here we need to understand the critical concept of women collectiveness in Rajasthan region that, its not that only through LIFE ;women collectiveness is coming out, earlier also government and other agencies also implemented the financial inclusion programmes in the form of SHGs ( self Help Groups), but the key intention was only limited to saving and credit , but with LIFE we have started the women collectiveness with the key intention of social inclusion and then strengthening financial systems for the women.

Production Units by Women Self Help Groups (SHGs)
Women Self Help Groups in Ajmer has initiated production units ( through Income generation support activities) there are 5 production centers being initiated and are able to produce goods and market goods also. The status of the production units are as:

  1. Total 5 productions cum training units were established for income generation and skill development of SHG members in 5 villages. The details are as follows :
                                I.      Unit–1 : Spice (Masala – Chilly, Coriander, Turmeric) Pocessing (Grading, Grinding, Packaging & Selling) Unit; run by Ghareeb Nawaj SHG of Gudha village, maily owned by Mrs. Phulbano. They process the material as per requirement of the shop setup by Phulbano earlier. Monthly she sells 20 kg. Chilly powder, 7 kg. Coriander Powder & 5 kg. Turmeric and earn profit of Rs. 1000/- to 1500 monthly.
                              II.      Unit – 2 & 3 : Tailoring cum Bag Making Unit at Kesarpura & Devliya run by Jagdamba SHG of Devliya & Vishvakarma SHG of Kesarpura. Total 14 SHG members are trained regularly, they completed tailoring and now production bags is going on for upcoming pushkar fair.
                            III.      Unit – 4 & 5 : Production Unit of Vermin Compost run by Krishna SHG Noklha & Peepalderani SHG Devliya. Total 6 SHG members have established 12 vermin compost units of 20’×3’×2’ size and producing compost. From the next two months the ready compost will be packaged by other members of SHGs & sold to the market.

Change Factor through Women SHGs…
  • With SHGs women have moved beyond the concept of saving and credit, infect now in terms of income they are more in the role of entrepreneur rather than a women just getting and submitting a loan! The word loan has changed with income!
  •  Now all the SHGs are linked with the government banks rather than linking with micro-finance institutions (which charges quite high rate of interest) and this lead to have loan for the group with an interest rate ranging from 12-18% and in some cases with subsidy of 1-2%.
  • Village heath worker/asha worker participate in the monthly meetings of almost 80% of SHGs formed under LIFE. This includes information on premature pregnancy, motherhood, menstruation cycle irregularities etc.
  • Around 90% of SHGs women have school going children and good to observe that all are going to the village schools and now with more income through entrepreneurship women spent 5-10% of amount on providing bags and school dresses to their children  ( as books are available free of cost in the government schools).
  • Have financial knowledge on bank and its transactions, 90% of SHGs at  Ajmer do every thing by themselves without any support from our cluster Coordinator. It includes going to bank, doing transactions, meeting with PRI and bank officials etc. and interesting factor is that they all are illiterate; they take support of field animator only for minutes writing.
  • Now women started living neat and clean and are aware about bank, PHC, vaccination and school.
  • Participate in Gram sabha[2] meetings and micro-plans of the village.  We need to understand that women participation in decision making either at their home or at the public forum is vital. In LIFE gender aspect is a cross cutting issue and to strengthen the same through the project we have structures like SHGs and farmers club have been developed, where 33% of female membership is compulsory. Apart from this in all the activities, exposures we project have give space and scope for the female representation and positively they comes foreword for the same. This all has boost up the moral and confidence level of target women in the LIFE project villages.

3.2.2 What sort of discussion SHGs  members do during the meeting?
It is good to notice that 80% of SHGs have their regular monthly meetings on fixed date, time and place (in some cases place get changed every month). On an average duration of meeting is around 1-2 hours in which the members initially do prayers, and then do their saving and credit process and later on discus on the various issues[3] as:
  • NREGA work
  • On health issues
  • On their household work
  • Children education
  • Loan repayment
  • On organic Cultivation
  • On their husbands and family
  • On festivals
  • On their daughter marriage
  • On their health concerns
  • On government schemes ( social security schemes)
  • On IGA

[1] Effective SHGS criteria in LIFE are as: collectiveness 10-20 women from BPL families, regular meeting, discussion on social issues in the meeting, regular saving, promotion of IGP activities, regular attendance, rotation of leadership, linkages with banks, timely repayment & participation in gram sabha meetings

[2] What is a Gram Sabha of the Panchayat?

Gram Sabha means a body consisting of persons whose names are for the time being entered as electors in the electoral roll for a Panchayat.
When does the Gram Sabha meet ?
1. There shall be four ordinary meetings of the Gram Sabha to be held on any Sunday of January, April, July and October of every year, and is to be convened by the Sarpanch.
2. There shall also be four Special Meetings of the Gram Sabha on 26th January, l5th August, 2nd October and 19th December of every year and is to be convened by the Sarpanch.
3. An extra ordinary meeting of the Gram Sabha shall be convened by the Sarpanch, upon a requisition in writing of not less than one-tenth number of members of the Gram Sabha, within thirty days from the receipt of such requisition.

[3]  Information based on the data collected from the minutes register of the SHGs and FGDs with the SHGs.


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