SHG is a small, autonomous, non-political group of people living near to each other and share common concerns, work together for their personal, social and economic development.
Background of women Self Help Groups
Liberalisation of Indian economy has provided both economic opportunities and threats to the poor households. They too are gaining access to the expanding markets, be it a Block, where new industry is being set-up, or a small town which is attracting new tourists or a district headquarters which is getting its infrastructure facilities built, or simply because of increased purchasing power of the rural economy. Slowly but surely, poor households are responding to increased consumer demands. In many such cases of economic upsurge, availability of credit to the poor households provides the critical impetus for initiating and/or expanding their income generating activities(IGAs)
Experience in micro-finance programs suggests that access to financial services are critical for providing economic security to the pooor households. Credit, if appropriately delivered, is attractive to the poor (tlk of money!), financially viable ( income through viable IGAs) and self-sustainabale (capital and assets build up from income). Experience also proves that women in poor households "Value" credit and ensuing benefits reach to the whole family. Experience across communities suggests that
Women by their nature have more fiscal discipline and take their repayment responsibilities seriously.
Through woman, the credit and the income reaches to the whole family.
Easy access to credit encourages women to initiate and expand her own exclusive IGAs.
She is able to improve her status in the family and the community, as she begins to access credit for herself and her family and by becoming significant contributor in managing the household cash-flow.
Her increased participation in the household and village economy helps her gain courage and confidence to exploit host of opportunities and improve her overall quality of life.