“A Study on Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Development of Rural Entrepreneurship in Selected villages of Uttar Kannada District”
Development is a multi-dimensional process which affects nation in many ways. It is well known that women constitute half of the national population but their contribution in the economy and other development faces remain unnoticed. The women entrepreneurship is an effective strategy to solve the problem of rural poverty. It promotes the quality of life by motivating women potentiality. The present research aims at focusing some specific areas pertaining to probabilities and hurdles of developing rural entrepreneurship exclusively executed by women SHGs. SHGs are playing a vital role in promoting rural entrepreneurship utilizing local knowledge, occupational skills and available local resources involving women workforce. Policy Makers, Rural Development Practitioners and Educationists in recent years concentrating their attention on SHGs as an instrument for the over all development of rural women and constructive social change.
Key Words- Women Self Help Groups, Women entrepreneur, Rural entrepreneurship, Rural women, Micro enterprise, Women empowerment.
“Udyogam Purusha Laxanam” is the popular Sanskrit proverb in our sacred scriptures which means “Employment is the prime characteristic of a man”. This statement is quite partial in the present era and need to modify as “Udyaogam sarvam Laxanam”. Thanks to the various factors, the modern world immersed in innumerable problems. Amongst them, unemployment stands first. Work is worshipped by all. To seek a suitable job is challenging task to illeterates and low literated rural women. They need guidance and support. In modern times, Self Help Groups (SHGs) acting as a catalysts between resources and unemployed rural human folk.
All of us well understood that women constitute half of our national population but their contribution in the economy and other development faces neglected. In rural India, agriculture and allied industrial sectors employ as much as 89.5 per cent of the total female labour. In overall farm production, women’s average contribution is estimated at 55 per cent to 66 per cent of the total labour. According to a 1991 World Bank Report, women accounted for 94% of total employment in dairy production in India. Women constitute 51% of the total employed in forest-based small-scale enterprises*. In general, in the uneducated and rural section of the Indian society, which forms a major percentage of the total population, women are seen as economic burdens. Their contributions to productivity are mostly invisible as their familial and domestic contributing are unfairly overlooked. Indian women were contributing nearly 36% of total employment in agriculture and related activities, nearly 19% in the service sector, and nearly 12.5% in the industry sector as of the year 2000.**The women entrepreneurship is the only means to solve the problem of rural poverty and contribute towards the expansion of rural economy. The present research work aims at focusing some specific areas pertaining to probabilities and hurdles of developing rural entrepreneurship exclusively executed by women SHGs. SHGs plying a vital role in promoting rural entrepreneurship utilizing local knowledge, skills and available recourses involving women workforce. Policy makers, rural development practitioners and financial institutions in recent years, concentrating their attention on SHGs as an instrument for the development of rural entrepreneurship in rural communities.
Self Help Groups in short known as SHGs are considered as the primary instrument of poverty alleviation for the past three decades by several agencies irrespective of national, international, locally both in private and public sector.
“A Self Help Group comprises a group of micro entrepreneurs having homogeneous social and economic backgrounds, all voluntarily coming together to save regular small sums of money, mutually agreeing to contribute to a common fund and to meet their emergency needs on the basis of mutual help”.
Origin of SHGs:
Prof. Mohammad yunus of Bangladesh, in 1975, started SHGs in Bangladsh to bring the efforts of women in the main stream of economy and inculcated the habit of savings among the poor. Presently, these women groups have recognized and formed a bank known as ‘Bangladesh Grameen Bank’. In India, this concept was emerged through Mysuru Resettlement and Development Agency (MYRADA), a South Indian NGO in 1980s, by promoting Credit Management Groups (CMGs). Wherein they have initiated the importance of weekly savings among target women and started to issue collected money in the form of loans to needy women. MYRADA provided training on organizing meetings, keeping agenda, minutes and other aspects of a successful business ventures. MYRADA renamed these CMGs as SHGs, during the implementation of an action research project supported by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in 1987. These groups were among the first of their kind, as we called them today Self Help Groups (SHGs).
In Karnataka, this concept was introduced by former chief minister of Karnataka State Mr. S M. Krishna in 2000-01, popularly known today as “Stree Shakti”. About 15 to 20 women members who are from below poverty line (BPL) families, landless agricultural labourers join together. SHGs are formed through Anganawadi Workers and Taluk Federations. At present, there are 1.40 lacks groups functioning in the state approximately 21 lacks women members are organized. ‘Stree Shakti’ group members have saved Rs. 1118.05 crores since inception. 1,20,155 groups have availed bank loans to the extent of Rs. 1305.97 crores and have done internal lending of Rs. 3215.88 crores to take up various micro enterprises. Some of the NGOs like Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) are actively involved in all aspects of enriching rural life.
Statement of the problem:
In India, various conditions have imposed on women to restrict their societal participation and decision making process. This led to exploitation in various forms. Including family, the society imposes various responsibilities on women, simultaneously denied adequate participation and decision making power pertaining to herself and social life. No doubt, women will defiantly attain this ability, if their socio-economic status improves. It may not be an exaggeration to say that rural women have been totally ignored in the development processes. This is not a good sign of development. As per 1991 census there were 90 million female work force in India, of which 77.85 million (86.5%) are employed in rural areas. Hence, the development of women is a reality only when the rural women are developed. SHGs will definitely enable them in all respects of their life. In an amicable atmosphere SHGs facilitates and taps both internal recourses of women as well as external recourses of community for overall development of women. SHGs will provide platform for enhancing their capability, efficiency and decision making capacity in home, community and nation at large.
Objectives of the Study
Scope of the Study:
This Study was conducted in two clusters of Karwar Thaluk of North Cenara (Uttara Kannada) district. Namely; Devabagh, Chittakula and Sadashivagada villages of Sadashivagada cluster of Chittakula Grama Panchayath and Kadawad Village of Karwar cluster of Kadwad Gram Panchayat amongst 160 members of 16 SHGs.
Importance of the study:
Women restricted their role within four walls of the family. No doubt, SHGs succeeded to bring changes in the life of its targeted groups. To know the unknown issues and business activities of rural women entrepreneurs this subject got significant importance. Also, to study the income level, standard of living, social functioning of rural women entrepreneurs this topic was selected. This study has also very important and significant to understand the support system of SHGs to facilitate and enable rural women to become a successful entrepreneur. This study is also significant to perceive the understanding about the role of SHGs in empowering rural women.
Research Design: The Present study is both descriptive and exploratory in nature. Since this subject refers to new areas of research facts or situations with regard to rural women entrepreneurs are planned to be collected.
Data Collection, Process, Interpretation and Analysis of Data:
To collect primary data survey method is utilized. Well established interview schedule is used to collect the reliable information about socio-economic status of rural women entrepreneurs. Simultaneously, conducted onsite visit and used direct observation method to know actual situation, needs and support system of SHGs to its members. Also referred various books, research works and utilized internet sources to collect the relevant information for this study. Statistical Tools like Tables, Graphs and Percentages are utilized to process analysis and interpretation of data.
Review of literature:
Limitations of the study:
2. Enterprises selected:
Majority of the respondents of four villages in Karwar Taluk engaged in home based enterprises (68.12%), followed by Agriculture based (15%) preferably caste based enterprises like fishery, dry fish processing, cashew and other dry fruits packing, then followed by seasonal work (13.12%) like Ice cream, beverages parlors and catering and hospitality.
3. Inspiration behind them to take up such Enterprises:
Women in these villages take up such enterprises because of the inspiration by SHGs. Through training and guidance to provided to realize and enhance their capabilities and skills. Members are exposed to various resources and skills to takeup such ventures. The result of the study shows that women in these villages inspired by SHGs guidance (98%) and started enterprises.
4. Financial Assistance:
SHGs promoted by government as well as NGOs provided loan facilities for rural women to start their business activities at the rate of 15% and 9% on flat basis for loans up to 2-3years.
5. Lack of Financial Resources:
The present study shows that the credit facilities provided by SHGs insufficient. The study reveals that 143 (89.37%) of the entrepreneurs utilized financial assistance from SHGs. The finding shows that nearly 4 (2.5%) of the respondents depends on commercial banks for their further financial needs. Nearly 5 (3.12%) of entrepreneurs in the sample had borrowed loan from co-operative societies and 2 (1.25%) respondents compensates their need by their well wishers and friends and remaining 6 (3.75%) respondents invested capital on their own savings.
6. Improved quality of life:
The study elucidates clearly that 80.62% of SHGs sponsored respondents succeeded to improve/enhance their standard of living in comparison with others. A minimal of 3.75% SHG respondents’ position is decreased and 8.25% respondents are found stagnant because if lack of confidence, dedication, commitment in their business and non-cooperation of their family members and even capital scarcity etc, 7.5% of SHG respondents are stable.
Based on the observation, some suggestions are relevant to boost rural women entrepreneurs. They are as follows;
“Change is the Law of Nature”. So, it is not suited to the society to isolate the women participation in economic activities. At present, women have shown their capabilities in all sectors of development. They have broken the monopoly of men and proved that they are not inferior to men folk. The SHGs had major impact on social and economic life of rural women. Therefore this study concludes that there is an increase in self confidence, self reliance of rural women, thanks to the involvement in the entrepreneurial and supplementary activities of SHGs. Now, women entrepreneurs are conscious of available opportunities and they are utilizing them. It is urgent and genuine to encourage their efforts collectively. The world realized and accepted their progress in entrepreneurship as an indicator of development and it is the obligation of the government, community and society to take care of women entrepreneurship at large.
Mr. Bhimappa B. Hadapad
Teaching Assistant, Department of Studies in Social work KU PG Center, Haveri, Karnataka State, India.
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