Reported By: Samerth Charitable Trust, IGSSS Partner in West Bengal (Edited by IGSSS Communication Team)
Surguja, Chattisgarh: Barkol is a remote village; 40 kilometers from the district headquarter Surguja. Besides being geographically remote, the village lacks basic amenities and is reeling under poverty and obscurement.
In an attempt towards bettering the living condition of the villagers, SAMERTH, decided to involve the women folk of the village in Income Generation Activity (IGA) through formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
Around 14 women came together to form a SHG named ‘AMRUDH’. The handholding support by SAMERTH helped the SHGs receive their first grading in eight months.
Along with a sum of Rs.15,000 from the block. It helped them began inter loaning process as revolving fund. The group than applied to Gram Panchayat to set up a small fishery enterprise. They took the permission of Pond usage from the Panchayat for an annual fee of Rs 1000. They further invested a sum of Rs.20,000 from their own savings towards purchasing seeds for fish harvest.
In the mean while, the fishery department has also sanctioned a loan of Rs. 45000 to the SHG at 25% subsidy. This was a huge success for the group members and could be possible due to their relentless advocacy effort. Besides, it has been a huge confidence booster for these women, who at one point of time in their life could barely imagine that beyond their threshold they even existed. And here today they stand as visionary entrepreneurs interacting with the world inside and outside, shedding inhibitions and growing in confidence. Thus, it comes as no surprise, when they vocally proclaim that they are not merely an “SHG”. As they say “bhaiyyaji yeh SHG nahi hai yeh humare business ki jaan hain.”
Samerth Charitable Trust (SCT) is a partner of IGSSS, implementing the SOUL programme in villages of Surguja District, Chhattisgarh.