NABARD - 25 Years Of SHG Movement - page 16

HG-Movement has signaled a paradigm shift in the
development approach of the country with focus on
gender-based social capital. Organising the unorganised
poor communities for holistic development and poverty
reduction has been the primary objective of the SHG Movement.
We have a mixed bag of results, it is a pity that over time SHG
Movement has been reduced to a narrow narrative of bank
linkage, access to credit and recoveries. Though access to
financial services is critical and important to aid and abet
development, SHGs have not still graduated from savings and
credit to insurance and pension services, even in southern states
where SHGs have advanced well. The social security schemes
(PMJJBY, PMSBY and APY) have brought great opportunities
and it is the responsibility of all the stakeholders to enable the
SHGs to access the entitlement schemes.
SHG programme depends on the enabling environment for
its effectiveness in addressing poverty and its sustainability
Shri M P Vasimalai
Executive Director, DHAN Foundation
as has been demonstrated by a few successful NGOs and civil
society groups. DHAN’s experience has reinforced this need more
forcefully through networking of SHGs as federations which sets
a platform for larger development. There needs to be a national
acknowledgement of this critical element and consequential
long term support for enabling process which calls for public
investment, not to mention great engagement in the regions
where the Movement is weaker like in North India.
There must be a freedom of expression for diversity of SHG
models and approaches with core principles being kept intact. At
this juncture of celebrating 25 years of SHG Movement, it is more
important that the governments (central/state) and other policy
making bodies should critically look at successful stories of
development outcomes in addressing all dimensions of poverty
through SHG movement across the country and devise such
policies and programmes to support and expand such initiatives
and interventions.
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