Self-Help Groups (SHGs)

The project will compile an inventory of the existing SHGs (self-help groups) in the project area in the beginning. This information will help the project to assess the existing SHGs and their capacities. The existing SHGs can be assessed applying the following criteria:

Criteria:

  1. Age of the group ( at least one year old)
  2. Number of members (between 10 and 20)
  3. Cumulative savings
  4. Internal lending and the amount
  5. Loan repayment history
  6. Whether the group has a bank account
  7. Amount of loan availed from the bank
  8. Whether any subsidy received from the government and its usage
  9. Group cohesiveness
  10. Promoter (NGO/Self promoted/Government/any other)
  11. Members’ perception about the group
  12. Willingness of the promoters as well as the members to affiliate the group to the cooperative
This activity will help avoid duplication and confusion in the villages since SHGs are created by many different institutions. Based on the above assessment, the existing groups can be adapted and their capacities can be strengthened through training and exposure. In the villages/hamlets where there are no SHGs or where earlier SHGs have become defunct, new SHGs can be created.

The new SHGs can start their functions with regular savings followed by inter lending. Each SHG can open a bank account and maintain the prescribed books and records. Once the SHGs are created or adapted in all the villages, a cluster level cooperative can be formed. This cooperative can function informally on the basis of cooperative concept and principles. If there are existing government legislations where they can get formally registered, then it can be carried out after educating the members about the process.

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