Rural women are scripting a new chapter of development

By joining the Rural Livelihood Mission they are becoming economically and socially empowered

Bhopal : Tuesday, September 13, 2022. Women are writing a new chapter of development in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. By joining the State Rural Livelihood Mission, not only are they becoming financially empowered, but they have gained a new confidence. They are getting more respect in the family and society. They are becoming the drivers of development in the state and the country. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is coming to the state to attend the orientation-cum-conference of women self-help groups at Karahal in Sheopur district on September 17, in which he will interact with the women of the groups and encourage them.

Since the year 2012, Madhya Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission is providing sustainable opportunities for institutional development and livelihood to the women of rural poor families by forming self-help groups for social and economic empowerment. So far, about 3 lakh 87 thousand self-help groups have been formed in 45 thousand villages by the mission. The objective of the mission is to provide cooperative guidance to the women of rural poor families by organising them as self-help groups and to provide useful self-employment and skill based livelihood opportunities to the families of the group members as per their interest, through strong basic institutions to improve the livelihood of the targeted families on a permanent basis.

The government has also arranged sufficient funds for the members associated with the groups formed in the Aajeevika Mission. Women of about 43 lakh 47 thousand of families have been linked with self-help groups in the state. These groups of poor families living in rural areas are being financially supported by the mission in the form of circular fund, community investment fund, disaster fund and bank linkage. With this amount, their small and big financial needs are fulfilled, due to which they are also getting free from the debt trap of moneylenders by increasing self-reliance.

Due to continuous training, financial literacy, financial support and cooperative guidance given by the mission, the poverty of lakhs of families has been eradicated. It is the result of continuous training that the strong will power to overcome poverty has awakened in the group members. As a result, they have not only started understanding their rights and entitlements, but also started getting them according to their eligibility. Many positive changes are coming in the lives of rural poor families due to the efforts of the Mission. Among them, social, economic empowerment can be seen prominently.

As a result of the efforts of the Mission, unprecedented changes are taking place among the women by joining the groups. The women, who till some time back could not muster the courage to ask the sarpanchs in the panchayats to get their works done, are now taking over the leadership of the gram panchayats by becoming the sarpanchs in about 2 thousand panchayats in the state. Along with the Gram Panchayats, they are also leading in the janpad and district panchayats.

Out of the families associated with self-help groups formed in the mission, more than 16 lakh 79 thousand families are associated with agriculture and animal husbandry based livelihood activities, while more than 6 lakh 19 thousand families are engaged in non-agriculture based small, enterprise livelihood activities.

In order to further strengthen the livelihood activities in rural areas, the women have received loans of about 1500 crore rupees through banks last year. This year this target has been doubled from last year to about Rs. 3000 crores. With this amount, the opportunities to start and strengthen the livelihood activities of the rural poor families have increased manifold. As this amount will reach the groups, big positive changes will occur in the lives of poor families, their economic and social status will see a rapid improvement. Interest grant on this amount is also being given by the government, which has made loan repayments even easier.

The results of the efforts of the mission are in front of us, women who were earning hardly three-four thousand rupees per month a few years ago, today there are lakhs of women who have started earning more than 10 thousand rupees per month with respect. By getting associated with the groups, not only have they boosted their income resources, but their respect in the family and society has also increased. The state and the country are developing under their leadership. Rural Madhya Pradesh is fast moving ahead in the category of economically strong and self-reliant states of the country.

Hindusthan Samvad

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