Self Help Groups and Empowerment - A Fighter against Social Cause

D. D. Kulkarni ., Dr. A. S. Shiralshetti .

Abstract


Women constitute half of our population and play a vital role in the development of the family, the community and the nation.  It has been widely recognized that unless women’s potential is properly developed, no transformation and economic development is possible.  Therefore, to accelerate the growth and prosperity of the nation, it is very important to create opportunities for socio-economic development of women in rural India.  In fact, since independence, it has been felt that women experience poverty to a great extent than men do.  The benefits of poverty eradication programmes targeted towards the head of household have failed to trickle down and reached the women.  Since then, the Government of India has been emphasizing the need for designing separate development programmes for women and to earmark a specific percentage for women beneficiaries in other rural development programmes.

The access to credit for the poor from conventional banking is often constrained by lack of collateral and high transaction costs associated with small borrower accounts.  Hence, micro finance has emerged as a viable alternative to reach the under privileged sections of the society for their social and economic empowerment through financial intermediation.  Micro finance involves provision of thrift, credit and other financial services and products of very small accounts to the poor for enabling them to raise their income levels and thereby improve living standards.  In this regard, a number of initiatives have been taken to augment the flow of bank credit to the micro enterprises in rural and semi urban areas set up by vulnerable sections of society including women.  Banks have been advised to provide maximum support to SHGs. 

The access to credit for the poor from conventional banking is often constrained by lack of collateral and high transaction costs associated with small borrower accounts.  Hence, micro finance has emerged as a viable alternative to reach the under privileged sections of the society for their social and economic empowerment through financial intermediation.  In this regard, a number of initiatives have been taken to augment the flow of bank credit to the micro enterprises in rural and semi urban areas set up by vulnerable sections of society including women.  Banks have been advised to provide maximum support to SHGs. The present paper has focused on women empowerment through self-help groups.

Keywords


SHGs, Empowerment, Micro finance.

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