NABARD - 25 Years Of SHG Movement - page 13

elf Help group programme has now become a National
Movement across India. The concepts of mutual trust/
guarantee and collateral free lending inter alia, are unique
to the SHG movement. The movement has become the
largest grass-root level democratic National Movement, where
millions of informal financial institutions have designed their own
operational systems, their own rules and regulations and their
own financial products. In spite of this tremendous growth, it has
more or less remained apolitical – “Passive Revolution” and has
remained a decentralized movement without any centralized
NGOs have played an important role in forming, handholding
and building capacities of these SHGs. I am very lucky to have
witnessed this entire movement from the beginning and have
seen many organizations facilitate this process, can name few
Foundation- IDF. Many of the State Governments and the Central
Government have also recognized SHGs and its federations and
have implemented many financial welfare programmes through
NABARD was the first to recognize the importance of this grass-
root level movement. To me, for a formal financial institution,
which is also a regulator it was a very bold step to recognize these
small informal groups and help them to grow. I have personally
seen NABARD senior officials visit village groups and learn about
their systems and understand their needs. NABARD’s bank
Smt Jayshree Vyas
Managing Director, SEWA Bank
linkage programme has really helped SHG movement to come to
the mainstream.
Sewa is also promoting and nurturing SHGs in many states of
India and has promoted more than 10000 SHGs. Our experience
has been that women with their inherent qualities of taking
responsibility, being honest and selfless, ability to take decisions,
make for very good leaders.
One issue confronting SHGs is the limited scope of additional
savings within the SHGs and combined with low quantum of
loans, it results in slower growth of capital of SHGs as compared
to NBFC-MFIs, who are receiving national and international
investment. Availability of loans from NBFCs is fast and bigger
which has often created problem at SHG level – either there is
multiple borrowing or SHGs are broken.
Taking over of the SHGs by Central and state governments along
with subsidy, grants and waivers may impact autonomy and
financial discipline of the SHG movement.
Federations or network of SHGs at district or state level can start
a Bank (Small Bank) of SHGs, where women can put their Savings
(deposits) and can provide credit and other related financial
services – local area bank is a suitable model for a SHG Bank
- NABARD can take the lead in helping SHG networks to form
banks of SHG women members.
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