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Self-help Groups (SHGs) and Women Empowerment in India
By Arjun Yallappa Pangannavar

First Published : 2012
ISBN : 9788177083255
Pages : 208
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 38

According to Census 2011, population of India increased from 103 crore in 2001 to 121 crore in 2011, an increase of 18 crore or 17.6 percent. Out of 121 crore, 62.4 crore (51.6 percent) were males and 58.6 crore (48.4) were females.

Women play a critical role in the family which is the basic unit of a society. Family is a strong force for social cohesion and integration and as such should be strengthened. The inadequate support to women and insufficient protection to their respective families affect society as a whole and undermines efforts to achieve gender equality. In different cultural, political and social systems, various forms of family exist and the rights, capabilities and responsibilities of family members must be respected.

The emergence and rapid multiplication of Self-help Groups (SHGs) based on micro credit is a phenomenon that is gaining increasing importance in the development scenario. SHGs are being viewed by governments and NGOs as a strategy for both women’s empowerment as well as poverty reduction. SHGs are a conduit for routing a wide range of government-sponsored development messages and schemes. NGOs have increasingly been adopting SHGs as a strategy to bring women together, at a faster pace and larger scale than the collective building processes adopted by them earlier.

This book explains and examines the role of SHGs in the socio-economic empowerment of poor rural women in India.

1. Poverty in Rural India
1.1 Concept of Poverty in India
1.2 Categorization of Poverty
1.2.1 Absolute Poverty and Relative Poverty
1.2.2 Urban Poor and Rural Poor
1.3 Various Estimates of Incidence of Poverty
1.4 Causes of Rural Poverty
1.4.1 Pre-Independence Period
1.4.2 Post-Independence Period
1.5 Anti-Poverty Programmes
1.5.1 Land Reforms
1.5.2 Agricultural Development and Trickle-down Theory
1.5.3 Ad-hoc Approach to Eradicate Rural Poverty
1.5.4 Comprehensive Rural Anti-Poverty Programmes
2. Rural Development and Women Empowerment in India
2.1 An Analysis of Rural Development
2.1.1 Pre-Independence Rural Development Programmes
2.1.2 Post-Independence Rural Development Programmes
2.2 Dimensions of Rural Development
2.3 Concept of Women Empowerment in India
2.3.1 Overall Identification of Women
2.3.2 Gender Inequality
2.3.3 Concept of Women Empowerment
2.3.4 Need for Women Empowerment
2.3.5 Dimensions of Women Empowerment
2.3.6 Measures to Assess Women Empowerment
2.3.7 Programmes of Women Empowerment
2.3.8 National Policy for Women Empowerment
2.3.9 Five Year Plans and Women Empowerment
2.3.10 Challenges and Problems of Women Empowerment
3. Self-help Groups (SHGs): Origin, Growth and Functioning
3.1 Self-help Group (SHG)-Bank Linkage Programme
3.2 Alternative Models of Micro Finance
3.3 Central Government and Micro Finance
3.3.1 Micro Finance Development and Equity Fund (MFDEF)
3.4 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Micro Finance
3.4.1 Priority-sector Status for Bank Loans to Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs)
3.5 NABARD and Micro Credit
3.6 Support to Federations of SHGs
3.7 Special Initiative for Scaling-up SHGs/SHG Federations
3.8 Promotional Support to Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs)
3.8.1 Capital Support to MFIs
3.8.2 Revolving Fund Assistance to MFIs
3.8.3 Rating of MFIs
3.8.4 Quality and Sustainability of SHGs
3.8.5 Centre for Micro Finance Research
3.8.6 NABARD-German Technical Collaboration (GTZ) in Rural Finance
3.9 Joint Liability Groups (JLGs)
3.9.1 Objectives
3.9.2 General Features of JLG
3.9.3 Criteria for Selection of JLG Members
3.9.4 Formation of JLGs
3.9.5 Savings by JLG
3.9.6 JLG Models
3.9.7 Support Extended by NABARD
3.10 Group on Rural Credit and Micro Finance, 2005
4. Self-help Groups (SHGs) for Poverty Eradication
4.1 Philosophy of Self-help Groups (SHGs)
4.2 Features of Self-help Groups
4.3 Guiding Principles of Self-help Groups
4.4 Formation of Self-help Groups
4.5 Categorization of Self-help Groups
4.5.1 Gender based classification
4.5.2 Linkage-Programme based SHGs
4.5.3 Location-based Self-help Groups
4.6 Structure and Organizational Set up of SHGs
4.7 Objectives and Functions of Self-help Groups
4.8 Role of SHGs in Women Empowerment
4.9 Scope for Developing Self-help Groups in India
4.10 Approaches to Self-help Groups
4.11 Five Year Plans and SHGs
4.12 Achievements of SHGs
5. Self-help Groups (SHGs): Implementation Problems
5.1 Problems at the Beneficiary Level
5.1.1 Contradiction between Social and Economic Status of the Members
5.1.2 Selection of the Business Enterprise
5.1.3 Choice between Indigenous and Modern Technology
5.1.4 Social and Family Barriers versus Economic Freedom
5.1.5 Social Loss versus Economic Gain
5.1.6 Problem of Holding Meetings of SHG
5.1.7 Dilemma between Self-employment and Wage-employment
5.1.8 Risk Involved in Investment Programme
5.1.9 Exorbitant Rate of Interest Charged by Financing Agencies
5.1.10 Problem of Collective Responsibility
5.1.11 Inadequate Infrastructural Facilities
5.1.12 Absence of Proper Social Security Measure
5.1.13 Inadequate and Irregular Supply of Raw Materials
5.1.14 Problem of Bank Dealings
5.2 Problems at Unit Level
5.2.1 Vested Interests behind Formation of Self-help Group
5.2.2 Problem Related to Follow Up Measures
5.2.3 Red-tapism and Rampant Corruption
5.2.4 Formalities in Opening of Bank Accounts
5.2.5 Too Much Delay in Advancing Loans
5.2.6 Problems Related to the Selection of Economic Activities
5.2.7 Inadequate Bank Loans
5.2.8 Illiteracy, Innocence and Inferiority Complex
5.2.9 Problem of Inadequate Infrastructure
5.2.10 Inadequate Funds
5.2.11 Stiff Competition from MNCs
5.2.12 Lack of Safety Nets for the Lending Operations of SHGs
5.2.13 High Rate of Interest Policy of SHGs
5.2.14 Lack of Legal Support to SHGs
5.2.15 Lack of Connectivity between SHGs and Big Companies
5.2.16 Absence of Self-help among SHGs
5.2.17 Lack of Motivational, Managerial and Behavioural Co-ordination among SHGs
5.2.18 Heavy burden of Work on SHGs
5.2.19 Problem of Collection of Regular Savings
5.2.20 Too Much Politicization
5.3 Problems at the Institutional Level
5.3.1 Designing Suitable Policy Measures
5.3.2 Sparing Resources
5.3.3 Change in Emphasis
5.3.4 Lending to Women Beneficiaries
5.3.5 Problems Related to the Defaulters
5.3.6 Too Much Political Intervention
5.4 Problems at the Government Level
6. Summary, Suggestions and Conclusions
6.1 Summary
6.1.1 Main Findings of the Study
6.2 Suggestions
6.3 Conclusions
Appendix: Self-help Groups (SHGs) and Rural Poor: A Case Study of Belgaum District of Karnataka



Dr. Arjun Yallappa Pangannavar is Associate Professor of Economics in J.S.S. Arts, Science and Commerce College, Gokak, Karnataka. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Karnataka University, Dharwad. He has participated and presented papers at various national level seminars and conferences.

His areas of specialization include women self-help groups (SHGs) and eradication of rural poverty. He has published a number of articles in reputed journals including Kurukshetra and Southern Economist.

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