Discuss the various opportunities available to the Self Help Groups (SHGs) for overall financial empowerment and inclusion of the women in India with particular emphasis on efforts and achievements of three Self-Help Groups in your /any state of India.

Published: May 10, 2017

The Self Help Groups have played a very significant role in the financial empowerment and inclusion of women in India. Some of the roles played are as follows:

  • Self help groups are good institutions for micro finance and micro credit, which later generate huge funds. The idea is to allow women to pool in their money in small amounts (Rs 10 to 50 per month). The linking of these SHGs with the banks help the groups further. The loans taken from the bank or opening accounts become easier as the SHGs have a definite identity. Banks easily lend or let them deposit money. Taking help of the formal financial sector helps in growth of their money. The poverty levels decrease to a great extent.
  • It improves the status of women as they become increasingly aware of the formal financial sector and also gain valuable knowledge through various government programmes about the importance of child education or other social evils. It increases their literacy level.
  • It helps to eliminate gender inequality as women understand their social roles in a much informed manner and their contribution to the finance of the household adds to the satisfaction of the family members.

The three Self Help Groups that are successful in India are:

  • Vasundhara Dairy Cooperatives- This was formed by a group of women to pool money to sell dairy products. Now it has almost 100 SHGs under it and does the job of educating adolescent and pregnant women about the need for life-saving, health and hygiene. Women are encouraged to join the SHGs to get help in child birth and maintenance of the child.
  • SHG of Ersama Blck, Kankana village of Orissa- Here this SHG has been successful in helping families affected by the super cyclone to come out of poverty. The women played the major role here. The women who joined the SHGs took loans and started their own small businesses to sustain the family after the disaster. The repayment of the loan had also been easy with low interest rates. The habit of thrift was also taught to women taking the help.

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