Women Empowerment and Economic Development
Self Help Groups:
International Human Development & Upliftment Academy has encouraged men and women in the rural areas to form Self Help Groups and so far there are 303 SHGs. There are 250 women SHGs and 53 Men SHGs. Each group has 12 to 20 members and each save Rs.10/- per week. The total savings of these groups as of March 2008 exceeds Rs. 73 lakhs. After 3 months of starting these SHGs, the members take loans from their own savings at 2% interest per month.
The loans initially taken is usually for education, consumption, health, house repair, repaying of old loans (they were paying 5 -10% per month from local money lenders). Apart from this, loans are taken for purchase of seeds, fertilizers, development of small business (Petty shops, vegetable vending, flower vending, hotels, saree business, animal husbandry activities, etc). The trust has given revolving fund to 237 SHGs worth over Rs.64 lakhs as on March 2008 and all the SHGs are repaying the revolving fund within the stipulated period. Apart from this, 86 SHG’s have been linked with the bank and they have given Rs.25,50,000/- as loan to these SHG’s. The recovery rate is above 94%.
These SHGs are not only a platform for economic development, but are also used for creating awareness on health issues, importance of education, taking up Government programs like Nirmala Grameena Yojana, Kitchen Garden, Sarala Ole, new income generation programs, training on different vocations, etc.
The biggest achievement of this program has been that SHG members have stopped taking loans from local moneylenders, who charged high rate of interest (5 - 10% per month). The SHGs that are more than two years old have moved from taking loans for consumption to income generating activities. However, new SHGs formed are still taking loans for consumption. Due to this economic empowerment, the women have developed more confidence in their activities.
Annual Day Celebration
Annual day is celebrated in almost all the SHG's in their respective villages.
This program is not only a cultural event in the village but also a learning experience for the new groups.
A VIEW OF SHG MEMBERS DURING UJWALA MOVEMENT
UJWALA Movement was first launched on 15 th March 2004 at Gundlupet in order to intensify ‘Women Empowerment’. It is celebrated once in 2 years. It is a one day program, where all the SHG members from the program area participate. The Second UJWALA program was conducted in Begur during 2006 and the third UJWALA Program was celebrated on 22 nd March 2008 at Gundlupet town. Approximately around 3750 women and men participated, from 48 villages. Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa, (Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, & now the present Chief Minister of Karnataka) inaugurated the program & was the Chief Guest. Special Dignitaries invited for the program were Prof. Hemalatha Mahishi, Advocate, High Court, Bangalore, Dr. E.Rathi Rao, Retd. Scientist, C.F.T.R.I., Mysore. Sri Vasu, Chairman, Vidya Vikas Education Trust, Mysore released the UJWALA Souvenir brought out on the occasion, which consisted of SHG members experience, songs, jokes, etc., written by the SHG members. During this program, Mr.B.S. Yeddyurappa Felicitated Sri M.P.Shankar, who is a Director, Producer, Film Actor & Kannada Rajyotsava & Dr. Rajkumar Awardee. The program was presided by Dr.B.S. Ajai Kumar.
SHG members were given an opportunity to exhibit their talents in the form of songs, dances, skits and also share their experiences (individual) and group experiences. The entire program was organized and conducted by SHG members with the help of the Trust.