HPAS Mains Syllabus General Studies Paper II: Governance
Question : “Self-help groups (SHGs) present a viable and efficient model for tapping the entrepreneurial energies of rural population”. Comment. (20 Marks, 400 words)
Self Help Groups are self-governed, peer-controlled information group of people with similar socioeconomic background and having a desire to collectively perform for common purpose.
Self Help Groups very strong instrument of economic development, creating financial habits and unleashing entrepreneurial talents.
But still SHGs are facing many problems in generating real entrepreneurial energy in rural areas. Members of a group do not come necessarily from the poorest families. Though there has been social empowerment of the poor, the economic gain to bring about a qualitative change in their life has not been satisfactory. Many of the activities undertaken by the SHGs are still based on primitive skills related mostly to primary sector enterprises. With poor value addition per worker and prevalence of subsistence level wages, such activities often do not lead to any substantial increase in the income of group members. There is a lack of qualified resource personnel in the rural areas who could help in skill upgradation or acquisition of new skills by group members. Further, institutional mechanisms for capacity building and skill training have been lacking. SHGs are heavily dependent on their promoter NGOs and government agencies. The withdrawal of support often leads to their collapse.
Constant monitoring of the SHGs is the need of the hour. A separate government body to monitor the functioning and the progress of the SHGs can make it more successful. New financial mechanisms based on the individual needs of the area is also essential for the SHGs to achieve their aims and objectives.
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