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Self Help Groups


  • Banks are not present everywhere in rural India.

  • Even if they are present, getting loan from a bank is much more difficult than taking loan from informal sources.

  • Bank requires proper documents and collateral which makes it difficult for poor people to take loan from formal sector.

  • Moneylenders knows the borrowers personally and are willing to give a loan without collateral. But they charge very high rate of interest, keep no record of the transactions and harass poor borrowers.

  • Therefore, to reach to poor people in the rural areas ,there is a need to think of other ways.

Functions of the Self -Group

  • The idea is to organize rural poor, in particular women, into small help groups (SHG) and pool (collect) their savings.

  • Usually a self help group have 15-20 members who meet and save regularly.

  • Saving per member varies from Rs. 25 to Rs. 100 or more, depending on the ability of the people to save.

  • Members can take small loans from the group on which low rate of interest is charged.

  • They meet regularly and important decisions regrding the savings and loan activities are taken by the group.

  • The group decides as regards the loans to be granted- the purpose, amount, interest to be charged, repayment schedule etc.

  • After a year or two, if the group is regular in savings, it becomes eligible for availing loan from the bank. Loan sanctioned in the name of group.

  • Not only women become financially self-reliant, but because of self- group they can discuss and act on a variety of social issues.

Grammeen Bank of Bangladesh

  • Biggest success stories in reaching the poor to meet their credit needs.

  • Sarted in 1970s as a small project

  • Almost all the borrowers are women and belong to poor sections of the society.

  • Professor Muhammad Yunus is the founder and receipent of 2006 Nobel Prize for Peace.


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