National consultation on transforming lives through livelihoods thrust and Strategy for Poverty Free Gram Panchayats
By Accommodation Times Bureau
Deendayal Antodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission is an important rural poverty alleviation program implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development with the support of State Governments. The Mission is currently being implemented in about 3400 blocks 2.3 lakh villages spread across 520 districts of 29 States and 5 UTs. The Mission has mobilized about 3.63 crore households into 31 lakh SHGs. The women from rural poor households are provided financial assistance in addition facilitating access to bank loans for undertaking livelihoods activities.
The Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India held a national consultation with SHG women of all States and UTs on “transforming lives through livelihoods thrust and Strategy for Poverty Free Gram Panchayats” at Pragati Maidan on 14th April, 2017. The event also marked the inauguration of a 10 day Aajeevika Mela that is being organized to promote exhibition and sale of products produced by SHGs from different parts of the country. As part of the mela, 500 Stalls have been set up in Hall No. 18 of Pragati Maidan. About 3,500 SHG women from all states and UTs participated in the consultation.
Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary (RD), Government of India inaugurated the consultation and the mela, while Shri L.C. Goyal, Chairman, ITPO delivered a special address. Shri Sinha outlined the contours of the Mission Antyodaya that seeks to bring 1 crore households from 50000 gram panchayats spread across 5000 clusters out of poverty. He emphasized the need for promoting effective convergence of all rural development and related programs at the village level.
Shri Sinha also acknowledged the pivotal role played by SHG members in the successful implementation of the rural development programs. In this context, he requested select SHG members to share their experiences in tackling poverty and diversifying their livelihoods.
About 23 SHG members from 12 states who have come out of poverty and overcoming multiple obstacles shared their experiences. All the SHG members narrated how SHGs have transformed their lives by enhancing their awareness, improving the access to formal credit, entitlements and public services and livelihoods. Apart from improving their own livelihoods, several women have narrated how their SHGs became instrumental in accessing public services like NREGA work, SBM benefits, housing and other entitlements. Further, SHG members particularly from Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand elaborated how they were able to tackle social evils such as illicit distillation.
The underlying theme of all experiences was the enhanced level of empowerment and confidence that the women felt by being members of SHGs.
Shri L.C. Goyal in his message stated that the DAY-NRLM program is the real answer to rural poverty alleviation in the country as the SHGs promoted could become the effective service delivery agents in the last mile. Shri Goyal acknowledged the critical role played by SHG members working as Community Resource Persons in implementation of DAY-NRLM.
After the consultation, Shri Amarjeet Sinha inaugurated the mela comprising 500 Stalls and went around the exhibition cum sale. The wide range of handlooms, handicrafts, artefacts, heritage products, fashion and beauty articles, cane and bamboo products, tribal ornaments, metallic products etc. The special attraction of this Mela are metal products from Madhya Pradesh, Sambalpuri sarees from Odisha, wood carving work from Andhra Pradesh, bamboo products from Tripura, Madhubani paintings from Bihar, Terrakota from Chhattisgarh, shawls and carpets from Jammu and Kashmir, handicrafts from Uttar Pradesh, tribal jewellery from Jharkhand, handlooms from North Eastern states etc.
The exhibition is open from all days from 14th April 2017 to 23rd April 2017 in centrally air-conditioned Hall No. 18 of Pragati Maidan.