Role of SHGs in empowering the state of Arunachal Pradesh
In Arunachal Pradesh, Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed in rural and marginalised clusters have proven to be a powerful means towards addressing the issues such as lack of polished skills, illiteracy and poverty; through collective efforts. SHGs are instrumental in promoting self-empowerment and self-sustenance among the rural population of the state, and has been contributing to the overall development of Arunachal under various initiatives.
Here are a few instances of how SHGs from Arunachal Pradesh have been contributing in various fields of empowerment and the initiatives taken by the Govt. to further strengthen their approach.
Progressing step by step
The SHGs of Arunachal Pradesh in their earnest endeavours have been progressing lately and many a times their success stories have been showcased in the mainstream media as a testimony of self-empowerment in the state. The Jasmine SHG Federation under the NERCORMP Project of Changlang is one such story of success which comprises of a total number of 16 SHGs. The Federation started floriculture with the fund they received from the project. Upon noticing that there are no nurseries available in their locality, they took up floriculture as their Income Generating Activities (GIA) along with an Areca nut nursery. In a short span of time, they had already gained the attention of the locals by putting up exhibitions in local events and garnered a good amount of positive reviews. Soon they found themselves exhibiting their small scale businesses in various events like Arunachal Pradesh Statehood Day, Rural Haat, other numerous festivals and exhibitions etc. They have invested the profits earned on improvising by adding more variety of species in their businesses. This is just one story out of many where the rural populace have benefitted a lot from entering into SHGs.
The fight against Corona
SHGs in Arunachal Pradesh, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the state have been helping out the frontline workers as well the public on the state’s fight against the virus. One noteworthy endeavour was from the Apun SHG of Borduria facilitated by Partner NGO Seva Samithy of Tirap, Arunachal Pradesh under NERCORMP on April 2020 where hand sanitizers, hand gloves, masks and essential food items were distributed to the people affected by Covid-19 while the SHG from Bordumsa Changlang partnering with NERCORMP PNGO BMM, distributed handmade face shield masks for the frontline workers who were diligently providing their service in a combat against the then newly detected virus. The SHGs of the state have been relentlessly providing their aid to the healthcare workers in the times of adversity and imparting awareness on Covid-19 guidelines to the masses.
Initiatives from the Government
Government of Arunachal Pradesh has been committed in lending a supportive approach towards the SHGs of the state. On July 2021, Honourable Chief Minister Shri Pema Khandu disbursed an amount of Rs 8, 27, 47,000 as loan to 789 SHGs of the state under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY NRLM). The scheme has been implemented by the Arunachal State Rural Livelihood Mission (ArSRLM) of the state Rural Development department. Initiatives as such envisions the financial inclusion of the rural areas by providing the populace access to efficient, affordable and appropriate financial services which will in turn improve GDP and help in decreasing income inequality. Apart from that, there are numerous training programmes being organized across the state from time to time in order to prepare the SHGs in approaching various income generating activities for self-sustenance. From fishing and selling packed local made
products across the state as well as outside to making bamboo and handloom products, the concerned authorities have been organizing events to impart knowledge on the same. SHGs of the state play a very crucial part in empowering the rural population, and thus aiding the process of poverty alleviation at grassroots level. They have been a pivotal source for many women entrepreneurs to attain social and financial independence. With their collective approach and active support from the Govt., they continue to motivate others in upgrading their skills and acquire the necessary means towards attaining self-sustenance.