Backed by self-help groups, women in Bharuch learn to stand on their feet | Meta Stories of Strength 2022 News,The Indian Express

Small, informal self-help groups in Gujarat’s Bharuch district provide funds, training and support, empower women to start and run their own businesses.

Small, informal self-help groups in Gujarat’s Bharuch district provide funds, training and support, empower women to start and run their own businesses.

SURAT: Surekhaben Bhadigar and Jayshree Prajapati have seemingly small jobs: while Bhadigar rolls incense sticks for a living, Prajapati makes clay idols of gods. The two women, however, are quietly scripting their own success stories in Gujarat’s Bharuch district. A part of Bharuch’s 509 self-help groups (SHGs), which are trying to mitigate the financial woes of the district’s women, both Bhadigar and Prajapati are successful entrepreneurs in their own right today.

This push towards helping women become financially independent is the brainchild of District Development Officer (DDO) Yogesh Choudhary, a 2016-batch IAS officer who was posted here last June. “Through such programmes, each self-help group gets a revolving fund of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month, for around three months from the group formation, for activities like making of pickles, papads, wafers, spices, kulfi, incense sticks, homemade decorative products from clay etc,” explains Choudhary, who was earlier managing director with power discom Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited in Surat. The officer says the revolving fund is intended to strengthen institutional and financial management capacity and build a good credit history within the group.

This May, the Bharuch district administration organised a district-level bank credit camp and facilitated loans for 343 of the 509 registered self-help groups in the district. Loans worth Rs 3.72 crore were disbursed for the first quarter of the 2022 financial year.

Among the beneficiaries have been women like Prajapati. This resident of Parvat village in Hansot taluka of Bharuch district now makes clay decorative products and idols after getting skill training under this scheme from the Gujarat Hastakala Board. After starting her business with a Rs 1 lakh cash credit loan, she has now ensured a steady income for herself.

https://indianexpress.com/article/meta-stories-of-strength-2022/backed-by-self-help-groups-women-in-bharuch-learn-to-stand-on-their-feet/


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