NABARD - 25 Years Of SHG Movement - page 23

loysius Fernandez of MYRADA in 1986 introduced me to
SHGs when I was in PRADAN. In 1987, we formed SHGs
in the Alwar district, Rajasthan, as part of a Ministry of
Rural Development funded PRADAN project to improve
the performance of rural development programs at the block
level. Punjab National Bank’s Khairtal branch opened accounts
for the SHGs and we were thus able to establish an “SHG-Bank
linkage” in 1987! PRADAN later started forming SHGs in various
states. RBI approved a pilot project in 1992. In 1995, Aloysius and
I were members of a Working Group chaired by NABARD MD, Mr
Kalia and helped devise guidelines for the SHG Bank Linkage
Program. By then, I had set up BASIX in Hyderabad and was able
to contribute to the growth of SHGs in Andhra Pradesh. In 1999,
Shri Vijay Mahajan
Founder, BASIX
with the support of IAS officers - late Smarjit Ray, SP Tucker, K
Raju and Vijay Kumar, former NABARD Chairman Dr Kotaiah
and Sukhwinder Arora of DFID, I helped CS Reddy establish the
Mahila Abhivruddhi Society for capacity building of SHGs. In
2000, GoI adopted the SHG model for poverty alleviation loans
and the program grew larger. But it lost some quality as it grew in
numbers. Nevertheless, reaching 100millionwomen ishistoric. The
SHG movement is a great instrument for women’s empowerment
and poverty alleviation. We must therefore strengthen the poorer
women’s voice in their SHGs and SHG Federations, and resist
attempts to use these for distributing political patronage to get
electoral advantage.
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