Micro finance is recognized as a key strategy for addressing issues of poverty alleviation and women's empowerment. Access to financial services and the subsequent transfer of financial resources to poor women enable them to become economic agents of change. Women become economically self-reliant, contribute directly to the well-being of their families, play a more active role in decision-making, and are able to confront systemic gender inequalities.
In this regard Foundation facilitated the concept of SHGs among community women to encourage them to participate in their development and work towards day-to-day problems through small savings. It was a major step to realize economic freedom. 10 SHGs are successfully functioning in the various villages. The meetings for the formation of new groups and follow-up with the existing groups are a regular feature of the programme. These SHGs have given the members a sense of identity and a common platform to discuss their grievances.
The matters of common interest have instilled a sense of unity. The funds created by their own savings helps them meet urgent monetary needs without depending on their men folk or moneylenders. Recently AIF organized weeklong training to 50 women of three Self Help groups of Mirbhitta Uttartola and Mirbhitta Dakshintola in Powakhali Panchayat. Resource persons sent by Khadi and Village Commission, Patna conducted it in three trades of candle making, agarbatti making and detergent making. This was a unique experience for the women as it was for the first time this type of training was conducted in such remote villages.
Most of the women had come out of their homes for the first time at the local Madarsa building where it was being conducted. Infact most of them had never spoken in front of the outsiders before. However their confidence was highly inspiring. They all decided to work together to fully utilize this training. We were happy to see that even the men folk, especially their husbands and guardians fully supported them and pledged to help them in setting up small units.
Number of Self-Help groups : 10
Number of Beneficiaries : 150