The Government today renewed its commitment for strengthening the Women Self-Help Group, SHG, movement in the country to eradicate rural poverty and to achieve overall development of village economy. The Minister for Rural Development Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that Centre is taking all the steps for effective and decentralized marketing of SHG products in the country. He said, the government will soon announce a scheme to organize the largest ever Haat in Delhi where SHGs can bring in and sell their products at reasonable prices.
Speaking at a function here to give the first ever awards to the best performing SHGs and Village organizations, the Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is standing solidly behind this concept and he earnestly desires the expansion of Self Help Group movement in the country. At present there are 29 lakh SHGs existing in the country with a membership of over 3 crore 40 lakh women as active participants. He said, poverty and unemployment are the two key factors for migration from rural to urban areas and he added that the NDA government is firm on checking this trend by bringing holistic and inclusive development of the rural economy. Shri Tomar said that the Centre is spending Rs 3,000 crore per year for the capacity building programmes of the SHGs and Banks almost disburse Rs 30,000 crore as loans to these groups.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Ram Kripal Yadav said that there is an urgent need to bring women, who constitute half of the population into the mainstream for economically empowering them.
He also appealed to the bankers to adopt a liberal attitude while disbursing loans to SHGs. Shri Yadav urged the SHGs to lead from the front for the overall development of their villages and asked them to take social issues like Swachh Bharat Mission in a mission mode fashion.
In his address, Secretary, Rural Development Shri Amarjeet Sinha said that solutions to the local problems can only be found by the collective efforts of the SHGs. He also set an ambitious target of financially empowering near one crore households by 2019.
30 best SHGs and 10 Village Organizations were given awards of Rs one lakh and Rs two lakh each respectively for best performances.