Self help groups transforming Assam

February 4th, 2009 - 2:07 pm ICT by ANI  

By Vaschipem Kamondang

Jorhat, Feb.4 (ANI): Women across the country can take inspiration from the united efforts of Assamese women who are transforming their lives without depending on the government for their welfare.

In Assams Jorhat district, self-help groups have benefited a lot of people, especially the women.

One of such groups is Ramdhenu Atmohohaiyo Goot, a women’’s self-help group which has helped create avenues of self-employment in the rural areas.

Started by a group of 15 women in 2005, with a bank loan of Rs.30,000, Ramdhenu Atmohohaiyo Goot is making a difference to several lives here.

Savya is one of the members of Ramdhenu Atmohohaiyo. Her life shows how the group has been devoted to generating a ray of hope in womens lives here. Once a homemaker, she is now engaged in business and makes traditional food items that are in great demand in the market.

Members of the self-help group now earn more than Rs. 30,000 per month and are now able to look after the education of their children and meet household needs.

“We have opened this self-help group. It is generating income. We are able to sell our products in the shop. We make teel peetha, narail ladoo, Dry fish, pickle, and also weaving, knitting etc. Through this we are able to support our children and run the daily necessities. We have also taken loans. We will also sell the things in the village fair. So, we have opened this SHG,” said Savya, a self-help group member.

“Our members meet on the 5th of every month with our products. Whatever income we get we deposit it in the bank. With the interest of the monthly income from every SHG member, we repay the loan we took from the bank,” said another Self Help Group member of Ramdhenu Atmohohaiyo.

Members of the self help group are now running their own business in the form of handloom, weaving, small food processing unit, bee keeping, cane and bamboo craft.

It has also given them an opportunity to sell and showcase their products in any fair organised across the state. People prefer their products, as the products are handmade, affordable and of good quality.

“Self help groups are doing very good work. They keep themselves busy and are giving us quite satisfactory articles. It is quite nice. I like the various products displayed here. The shawls, the handicraft works, wrap around. They are quite good. Even the prices are reasonable. It’’s a good thing for the common people, said one customer.

There are more than 85,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Assam. Last year, the government had set up a commercial building Bhogdoi exclusively for the self-help groups in Jorhat.

It has enabled the self-help groups to market their products directly to the customer.

The success of the scheme is a testimony to the fact that people’’s attitude and thinking towards life is changing. They do not want others to do things for them but want to take their destiny in their own hands. (ANI)

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