Rural Development Minister calls for a National Level Shgfederation

for Ministry of Rural Development | Date - 30-05-2008

The Minister for Rural Development Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has called for the constitution of an All Indial level federation of Self Help Groups (SHG) in the country. Addressing a National Level Workshop organized for Self Help Groups (SHGs) Federations here today the minister said it was the concept of Self help Group that paved way to eradicate poverty and became instrumental in the empowerment of especially the rural women. Since the activities of these Self Help Groups encompasses a number of formalities, the need for such forum becomes imperative. Thus organizing the poor into Self-Help Groups and federating them up to the national level has been has been identified as an important support activity of his Ministry. The activities of the federations range from social mobilization, articulation of common concerns, organizing awareness campaigns, undertaking procurement operations, provision of forward and backward linkages to marketing activities, he added.

Giving an account of the formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs), Dr. Singh said this help is now being provided under the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY), a major self employment scheme launched in April, 1999 after restructuring and combining the IRDP with allied programmes i.e. TRYSEM, DWCRA, SITRA, GKY, MWS. It has been designed as a holistic self employment scheme aimed at providing sustainable income to rural BPL families through income generating assets / economic activities so as to bring them out of the poverty line. It is a process oriented scheme involving processes like organization of the rural poor (BPL) into Self-Help Groups (SHGs) through social mobilization, capacity building & training, provision of revolving fund, making available credit and subsidy, technology, infrastructure & marketing. Each process has a bearing on the successive process.

The minister said the SHG movement has now attained brisk momentum and there are now 28 lakh SHGs in the country. He said as the provision of employment under NREGA is limited up to 100 days only, it is the self employment that can ensure encome to rural folks round the year. Dr.Singh stressed for easy financing of SHGs by the Banks and other financial institutions in their endeavors 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, CAPART, NGOs and PRIs in providing help to this movement and said a concept paper has been prepared for discussion in this workshop.

Mrs. Suryakanta Patil, Minister of State in the Rural Development Ministry advocated for the SHG movement and cited the example of Bachat Gats in Maharashtra. She said these gats have gone a long way in boosting the morale of women in the rural Maharashtra. She called for a better coordination in between the Centre and State Governments in implementing the SGSY.

Shri Chandra Sekhar Sahu, Minister of State in the Rural Development Ministry called for simple and effective financial help of SHG members by the banks and said the success stories of SHG movement are the actual pictures of the performance of Ministry.

The work shop is being attended by all the State Secretaries in – charge of the Rural Development Departments and Project Directors, District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) / CEOs of Zilla Parishad / Project Officers of Self Employment Wing of DRDAs / NGOs involved in the promotion of SHG federation.

Issues like Formation / emergence and Sustainability of SHG federations: The need of formation of federations, emergence, and strategy for their functioning and sustainability. Possibility of replication of successful models; Institutional and function related issues: Internal governance / management of federations. Role of SHGs in federations; Issues related to Government support: The type of Government support, especially of Ministry of Rural Development towards capacity building and framing of a national policy on SHG federation. Role of the Ministry of Rural Development and other Government Departments and commercial banks in the SHG federations. An effective and participatory monitoring mechanism; Legal issues: Evaluation of relevance of current legal framework with regard to the SHG federations and the need for change; Issues related to evolution of an apex National Level Federation: Structure, composition, role and functions of the National Federation of SHGs. NFS as a truly representative member owned, member managed and member controlled institution. Road map and time frame for the evolution of the National Federation of SHGs (NFS) especially the road map for role transformations between primary member and secondary stakeholders are expected to be taken up at the workshop for discussions.


(Release ID :39299)

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