SHGs significance, their role and model ABSTRACT The

SHGs significance, their role and model
The present study of SHG has been undertaken in order to study the role and impact of SHGs on the social life of rural women’s and their empowerment. The membership of SHGs made the members aware of the gender equality and led to the economic, social and political independence of members. It also improved the position of the respondents in the patriarchal family system through gaining knowledge of legal system and enabled the members to involve in family decision making. Moreover, the members also developed the leadership qualities through the sense of devotion to work, duty consciousness and self confidence etc. Models to enhance SHGs and Various problems faced along with steps to minimize the problems have been undertaken for study. This is mainly based on true data collected of Karnataka state.

In India unless rural sector is employed, it is rather difficult to achieve the sustainable target for overall development of the country. Since woman is the equal partner in development process, the rural women always remain the main component of the development process of Indian economy. India has approx 6.40 lakh villages and around 68 percent of population of our country lives in rural areas. Since female population is 48.25% of the total population, the major chunk of it is living in rural areas. The majority of rural women are from the category of living below the poverty line. So rural poverty means rural poor woman hence there is feminization of poverty.

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This rural segment is the biggest segment and the backbone of Indian Economy. The rural woman always remains the centre of rural development in terms of alleviation of rural poverty and rural empowerment. Among the Government initiated rural development programs women self-help group programme is a best participatory approach to rural empowerment via the rural development as a policy-measure of eradication of rural poverty.

Therefore, poverty alleviation, through schemes for women empowerment, is expected to strengthen women economically and make their contribution to household income count in the real sense. Following the success of ‘Grameen Bank’ model of Bangladesh small informal associations of poor women named as self-help groups (SHGs) began as a women’s empowerment initiative in the 1980’s. In 1992 NABARD initiated significant financial component by linking the SHGs with banks. Self-Help Groups are informal associations of people who choose to come together to find ways to improve their living conditions. In India today, there are over 7 million savings-linked SHGs, covering approximately 2% of the total households. SHGs have evolved to be more than just a means for credit – they also act as a delivery mechanism for various other services, ranging from entrepreneurial training to savings deposits. They help to build social capital among the poor, especially women. The most important functions of SHGs are:
(a) To encourage and motivate its members to save,
(b) To persuade them to make a collective plan for generation of additional income, and
(c) To act as a conduit for formal banking services to reach them. Such groups work as a collective guarantee system for members who propose to borrow from organized sources.

Significance of SHG
SHGs play an important role in differentiating between consumer credit and production credit, analyzing the credit system for its implication and changes in economy, culture and social position of the target groups, providing easy access to credit and facilitating group activities for effective control, ensuring repayments and continuity through group dynamics; setting visible norms for interest rates, repayment schedules, gestation period, extension, writing of bad debts and assisting group members in getting access to the formal credit institutions.
Thus SHGs disburse micro-credit to the rural women for the purpose of making them enterprising women and encouraging them to enter in to entrepreneurial activities. In India SHGs are small and economically homogenous affinity groups or rural poor who voluntarily come together for achieving common goals such as:
(a) To save small amount of money regularly.
(b) To mutually agree to contribute to a common fund.
(c)To meet their emergency needs.

The story of SHGs begins when NABARD was also not in the field. MYRADA, a leading NGO, based in Karnataka, engaged in rural development promoted various cooperative societies that were capable in giving loans to their members. Later, the large cooperatives broke into small groups, giving birth to first SHG named Credit Management Groups (CMGs), which focused in management of credit. Members started saving a small amount and soon it was followed by the establishment as a system including book keeping and records, regular meetings, and collective decision-making. After a few years NABARD conducted a pilot study and gained confidence to launch SBLP as a normal lending activity, quoted in Karnataka HDR (2005). After the launch of SBLP, the very first loans to SHGs in the country were given in Kolar district of Karnataka by the Vysya Bank, Bangarpet branch to Venkateshwara Mahila Sangha of Muduguli on December 9, 1991 and by the Corporation Bank, Andersonpet Branch to Saraswathi Mahila Sangha of Boduguriki on January 30, 1992.

District Name No. of GPs No. SHG Groups Entered No. of Member Details Entered No. of Unemployed Member Details Entered No. of Aged/Disabled Member Details Entered No. of SHG Groups with Complete details No. of SHG Groups with Incomplete details No. of SHG Groups Confirmed
BAGALKOTE198 7464 95991 7140 7188 7355 109 6532
BALLARI200 7514 80491 6009 4985 6108 1406 5049
BELAGAVI505 23427 283902 12040 11819 22052 1375 9846
BENGALURU96 3946 65805 3036 6887 3770 176 3655
BENGALURU RURAL105 3941 63536 2671 4476 3906 35 1809
BIDAR186 8491 115579 4054 3614 8418 73 8356
CHAMARAJANAGARA130 9172 124968 5416 4365 8570 602 8260
CHIKKABALLAPURA157 4491 69923 5160 4471 4205 286 4049
CHIKKAMAGALURU227 7866 99015 6509 8569 7556 310 7292
CHITRADURG 189 14677 185067 9628 7641 14491 186 10300
DAKSHINA KANNADA230 8384 97625 3811 11841 8317 67 8255
DAVANGERE233 12020 144324 5261 7713 11096 924 10672
DHARWAR144 8586 103532 3846 6399 7945 641 3924
GADAG122 6766 77079 4002 4018 6529 237 4352
HASSAN267 16441 232842 11971 6014 16296 145 12285
HAVERI224 11697 146992 6671 8326 11470 227 11231
KALABURAGI264 4914 73868 3478 2471 4698 216 4253
KODAGU104 3037 40685 2858 3800 2977 60 2166
KOLAR156 4297 69615 5333 5068 4187 110 4101
KOPPAL153 10099 112431 5714 5630 9482 617 2824
MANDYA234 15096 225602 16115 12568 13984 1112 12472
MYSURU266 16070 221501 11872 7993 16044 26 16020
RAICHUR180 3718 43502 1849 1017 3441 277 3047
RAMANAGARA127 5211 86099 4745 5186 5118 93 5020
SHIVAMOGGA271 12031 157657 11250 14762 11907 124 11354
TUMAKURU331 27012 339813 15010 10761 26070 942 15667
UDUPI158 7684 93658 3257 18386 7506 178 7396
UTTARA KANNADA231 8656 105962 12317 10667 8382 274 7968
VIJAYAPURA213 6385 85950 7179 6472 6174 211 5862
YADGIR123 2522 34819 2766 1450 2174 348 2007
TOTAL 6024 281615 3677833 200968 214557 270228 11387 216024
Among 31 districts in karnataka,BELAGAVI district has recorded highest number of SHG registered.

Where as around 5862 SHG has been confirmly registered under VIJAYAPURA district which has around 213 GramPanchayats.

Taluk Name Panchayat Name Village Name SHG Name Bank Name
INDI HORTI HORTI sridevi purush shgDistrict Co-Operative Bank

As per data collected through official website of Karnataka , total fund total fund received by SHGs of Vijayapura during (2003-2015) was around 1210 lakh rupees for overall development of SHGs in Various Projects which has been assisted through various banks like Karnataka Vikas Grameen bank, State Bank of India, District co operative bank, Syndicate Bank etc.
Around 68% of the respondents represent the middle age group, followed by 29 % and 3% falling in elderly and young category respectively who actively participation various activities of SHGs.

Various dynamics helped in upgrading status of women through SHG
1) Influence of membership of SHGs and gender inequality
Gender inequality has been an endemic problem in our patriarchal family system. There is a severe bias against the female members of the family since their childhood. It is reflected in all respects of the family and social relationship. The family lineage and living arrangements are centred on men and inheritance and succession practices tend to neglect women. Boys are favoured over girls for access to nutrition, childcare and education. From the early age a girl is socialized to give priority to the needs of the male members in the family. Women constitute nearly half the total population. Yet the socio-economic and health indicators of women in India lag far behind men. Illiteracy, low work participation, and poor exposure to mass media are the common causes for low status of women and their less autonomy. Low status of women and their dependence on men make them vulnerable to many social evils. The responses of the SHG members covered by the study revealed some significant aspects about the gender inequality . Majority (97.00%) of the respondents opined that attaining education helped them to face gender inequality, 93.30 per cent were helped by getting proper knowledge and 93.00 per cent achieved economic independence after getting membership of SHGs.

2) Membership of SHGs and improvement of women position in the patriarchal family system
Membership of SHGs helped the respondents in improving their position in the patriarchal family system in many ways. Most of the respondents (82%) improved their position through knowledge of legal position. Women’s realized it through communication with all about equal role for men and women, courage and self confidence and awareness about the importance of gender equality, respectively.

3) SHG members and development of leadership qualities
Members of the self help groups could develop leadership qualities in them through sense of devotion to work, duty consciousness, sense of responsibility, organizing ability, self confidence etc. These qualities were developed through the members’ involvement in the various activities of the SHGs.

The membership of SHGs helped the women to develop leadership qualities in them. Out of the total respondents, 98.50 per cent women were of the view that duty consciousness was the main factor in developing leadership quality whereas, 95.00 per cent declared sense of devotion to work as the main factor for it. About equal number of respondents credited sense of responsibility, organizing ability and self confidence responsible for development of leadership in them.

Problems faced By Various SHG.

1. Ignorance of Members/Participants:
Even though the authorities take measures for creating awareness among the group members about the schemes beneficial to them, still majority of the group are unaware of the schemes of assistance offered to them. Many are Ignorant about the scheme.

2. Inadequate Training Facilities:
The training facilities given to the members of SHGs in the specific areas of product selection, quality of products, production techniques, managerial ability, packing, other technical knowledge ate are not adequate to compete with that of strong units.

3. Problems Related with Raw Materials:
Normally each SHG procures raw materials individually from the suppliers. They purchase raw materials in smaller quantities and hence they may not be able to enjoy the benefits of large scale purchase like discount, credit facilities etc.

Moreover, there is no systematic arrangement to collect raw materials in bulk quantities and preserve them properly. There is no linkage with major suppliers of raw materials. Most of the SHGs are Ignorant about the major raw material suppliers and their terms and conditions. All these causes high cost of raw materials.

4. Problems of Marketing:
Marketing is an important area of functioning of the SHGs. However they face different problems in the marketing of products produced by them.

Following are the major problems relating to marketing.

(a) Lack of sufficient orders.

(b) Lack of linkage with the marketing agencies.

(c) Lack of adequate sales promotion measures.

(d) Lack of permanent market for the products of SHGs.

(e) Absence of proper brand name.

(f) Poor/unattractive packing system.

(g) Poor quality of products due to the application of traditional technology, resulting In poor market,
(h) Stiff competition from other major suppliers.

(i) Lack of a well defined and well knit channel of distribution for marketing.

5. Lack of Stability and Unity especially among women SHGs:
In the case of SHGs dominated by women, it is found that there is no stability of the units as, many married women are not in a position to associate with the group due to the shift of their place of residence. Moreover, there is no unity among women members owing to personal reasons.

6. Exploitation by Strong Members:
It is also observed that in the case of many SHGs, strong members try to earn a lion’s share of the profit of the group, by exploiting the ignorance and illiterate members.

7. Weak Financial Management:
It is also found that in certain units the return from the business is not properly invested further in the units, and the funds diverted for other personal and domestic purposes like marriage, construction of house etc.

8. Low Return:
The return on investment is not attractive in certain groups due to inefficient management, high cost of production, absence of quality consciousness etc.

9. Inadequate Financial Assistance:
It is found that in most of the SHGs, the financial assistance provided to them by the agencies concerned is not adequate to meet their actual requirements. The financial authorities are not giving adequate subsidy to meet even the labour cost requirements.

10. Non-co-operative Attitude of the Financial Institutions:
The Financial Institutions do not consider SHGs seriously while providing finance and other help.

11. Inadequate and ill-trained staff to meet the challenges:
The attitude of the staff of the rural development department is not encouraging. They are not well trained to accept the challenges and equip the SHGs self-reliance.

12. Inadequate Support from Line Department:
For obtaining assistance and support, the group members have to approach the line officers. However the line officers are not co-operative with the SHGs. This will hamper the very objective of the schemes.

SHG is a registered or unregistered group of micro entrepreneurs having homogeneous social and economic background, voluntarily coming together to save small amount regularly, to contribute a common fund and to meet their emergency needs on mutual help basis.

Ten persons should be selected, one each from a BPL family to form a group which is expected to implement following code of conduct like Assigning name to the SHG, Regular meetings in a Democratic way, Open exchange of thoughts in these meetings, Participation in the Decision Making process, Bank Account in the name of the SHG and Selecting a President and Secretary from the SHG.

The groups’ total fund is to be deposited in the bank account so created. SHGs that are in existence for about six months and have demonstrated the potential of a viable group enters the 3rd stage, wherein it receives a ‘Revolving Fund’ from DRDA and Bank as a cash-credit facility. This money may be utilized for internal lending among the members. If group is found to be regular in its internal lending and successfully utilizes this revolving fund; proposal for bank loan may be forwarded for sanctioning.

1. Information about locally available materials and their varied uses should be disseminated to SHGs. Proper encouragement and training should be given to them to make innovative products by using these materials. In order to have a knowledge base about the availability of materials, in panchayat levels, surveys can be conducted under the auspices of local authorities.

2. In order to solve the various problems relating to marketing of SHGs, the state level organizations should extend the activities throughout the state instead of limiting its operations in a particular area.

3. Various SHGs functioning in a particular panchayat area can form a co-operative society. This society may be entrusted with the task of marketing the products of different SHGs under a common brand name. Further, the society can undertake sales promotion activities and procure rare raw materials for the benefits of member SHGs.

4. Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) can play a significant role in empowering women entrepreneurs by providing basic education, motivation training, and financial help and so on.

5. All the members in the SHGs may not have the same caliber and expertise. NGOs can identify the inefficient members of the group and can impart proper training to them in order to make them competent. For this purpose, short term training programmes can be arranged at the panchayat level.

6. Frequent awareness camps can be organized by the Rural Development department authorities to create awareness about the different schemes of assistance available to the participants in the SHGs.

7. Lastly, arrangements may be made by the financial institutions for providing adequate financial assistance to the SHGs strictly on the basis of their actual performance without any discrimination of caste, politics etc.

It is very important and vital to address these issues and for this an integrated approach of Government, Banks and NGOs is crucial. The institutional efficiency needs to be increased. Speeding up the delivery process is also very important. Easy access to credit, flexibility in the repayment schedule, conceptualization of new schemes for the poor should be considered. Role of NGOs, too, is equally important as they serve as the most important element to create awareness among the rural poor. They should give wide publicity to rural banking and its linkage programmes at local level and must enable the Rural Indians to participate in the decision making process at the bottom level. These measures can significantly make the Self Help Groups effective and efficient in order to boost the Rural Economy of India.

Geet. C., Rajeshwari. S. and Devendarappa. S., 2011 A study on the usefulness of Self Help Group membership to women for empowerment, J .Farm Sci. 1(1) : 112-119,
Geeta. K. and Bagalkoti. S. T., 2016 Status of Stree Shakti Groups in Karnataka 5(5) ISSN 2278 – 0211 Nandini. R. and Sudha. N., 2014 A Study On Women Empowerment Through Self Help Groups – With Special Reference To Ramanagar District, Karnataka International . Social Sci. Res. ISSN 2455-4839 7-15,


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