Role of self-help groups in socio-economic change and empowerment of SHG women of Chittoor District
K Swarnalatha, RK Anuradha
Self-help groups (SHGs) have appeared as popular method of working in the company of people in recent years. Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve goals for development and sustainability and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities. The objective of the research was to study the demographic profile of the women, reasons for joining SHGs and activities undertaken by them and achievements in terms of benefits and level of satisfaction, various income generating activities and capacity building. Data was collected from 200 members from 20 Self-help groups. Majority (70%) of women were in the age group of 31-60 years. Almost all the SHG women were married and belonged to nuclear families. Majority (86%) of the respondents were daily wage earners and agricultural laborers. Majority of respondents utilized additional income for procuring nutritious food for family, acquiring house hold items and meeting educational needs of children. The overall findings of the study suggest that SHG-Bank Linkage Programme has significantly improved the access to financial services for the rural poor and has considerable positive impact on the socioeconomic conditions and the reduction of poverty of SHG members and their households. It has also empowered women members substantially and contributed to increased self-confidence and positive behavioral changes in the post-SHG period as compared to the pre-SHG period. 100% of the respondents improved their financial conditions after joining SHG.