SELF HELP GROUPS – a Development Approach It was felt that the issues of women had to be addressed in a more systematised manner. Thus through the assistance of Caritas India a pilot project was initiated to train leaders to help to establish Self-Help Groups.
The objectives were to mobilize women through SHG’s in order to empower them by being involved in social issues. It was also visualised to assist them to be able to generate income to help themselves and to strengthen the groups and form new groups.
The various strategies adopted were training programmes, capacity building, community mobilization, building linkages, community support, working with other NGO’s Government agencies and vocational training centres.
The stakeholders in these endeavours are women, animators, other SHG’s, resource persons, banks, funding agencies, local self governance, state government (health, agriculture, social welfare) and the local community.
In a short span of time, the members expressed confidence of having gained banking knowledge, skills to be able to report, improved their saving skills, developed business skills, improved social relationships and unity and were able to speak in public and enhanced their ability to grow in relationships. It also developed their self confidence and were able to gain greater social freedom.