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EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN THROUGH SELF HELP GROUPS: A STUDY IN ANANTAPUR DISTRICT OF ANDHRA PRADESH Thesis submitted to SRI KRISHNADEVARAYA UNIVERSITY, ANANTAPUR In partial fulfillment for the award of the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN SOCIAL WORK By D. SREENIVASA REDDY Under the Supervision of DR. M. MUNI NARAYANAPPA Associate Professor Department of Rural Development & Social Work SRI KRISHNADEVARAYA UNIVERSITY ANANTAPUR – 515 055(A.P). INDIA
Dedicated to my beloved Father and Grand Mother Late Sri D. Lakshmi Reddy Late Smt. C. Venkata Lakshmamma
The main objective of the present study is to analyse and evaluate empowerment of women with special reference to SHG programme in Anantapur district. However, the specific objectives of the study are to;
Understand the concept of empowerment, possible goals; dimensions and target groups especially at the gross-root level of the country.
Trace out the origin, growth and development of DWCRA/SHG programme in India, Andhra Pradesh and Anantapur district.
Study the socio-economic profile of the district and selected group leaders and members of the programme.
Analyse and assess the impact of SHG programme on selected groups in various facts of empowerment.
To identify the problems and offers suggestions for effective functioning of the programme for the cause of human resource development.
The study was undertaken in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh which is economically the most backward district of Andhra Pradesh. This region is typically a dry track and has been declared as a famine district in South India.
For a detailed study the entire district of Anantapur is selected for analysis. The district is divided into three revenue divisions viz., Anantapur, Dharmavaram and Penukonda. In all these three divisions there are 63 revenue Mandals . As on 31 st May 2010, there are 17301 groups in Anantapur, 19,875 groups in Dharmavaram and 16,294 groups in Penukonda division. Thus, altogether 53,470 SHGs are working in the district.
For selecting the universe for the study, a multistage and purposive sampling technique was adopted in selecting the Mandals and the groups. The total universe for the study constitutes 300 respondents. The Table clearly depicts all such details.
Total Sample Universe for the Study Sl.No Name of the Revenue Division Name of the Mandal No. of Village Organisations No. of Respondents Leaders Members 1 Anantapur Singanamala 5 25 75 2 Dharmavaram Settur 5 25 75 3 Penukonda Amadagur 5 25 75 Total 3 3 15 75 225
The study is basically descriptive and empirical in nature. Therefore, the data for the study were collected both from the primary and secondary data. Primary data were collected by administering a structured interview schedule among the selected respondents.
The collected data was processed, tabulated and calculated with the help of computers. The data was analysed and discussed with the help of averages, percentages. The data was also presented with the help of appropriate bar and pie diagrams.
The fruits of any development programmes will reach the needy, only when the receiving people are aware of that particular programme. The present study revealed that about 18.67 percent of sample respondents are not aware of the SHGs concept before they became members of one or other SHG.
The present study made it clear that, the sample respondents become aware of SHG programme by the various sources. About 95.67 percent came to know about SHG programme by the already containing SHG members. Next in the realm comes village leaders with 84 percent.
The study revealed that the older members of SHGs given more encouragement, for the new comers to join in SHGs. DRDA officials encouragement made 22 percent of women to join in SHGs. It is important to note that only 13 percent joined SHGs with self motivation.
The sample respondents have given three reasons, for joining SHGs. More than half of them joined SHGs to undertake income generation activities. About 32 percent of them joined with the expectation of availing loans and remaining members joined for problem solving purposes.
The Government efforts to strengthen the Self Help Groups are going on since early 1980s. Besides NGO’s are also forming SHGs in Anantapur district. The present study exhibits that more than seven tenths(70%) are aware of government organized SHGs and remaining are either unaware or denied to respond.
Those who preferred Government organized SHGs cited six reasons. The most important among them are: flexibility in repayment of loans, low rate of interest and subsidy on government loans etc.
On the other hand, those who have preferred NGO organized SHG also cited six reasons. The most important among them is that NGOs are encouraging to undertake income generating activities, NGO officials are cooperative and easy loan getting processes etc.
The study revealed that, 89 percent of women formed SHGs with the help of DRDA officials and 6 percent with the help of village leaders and others extended help to remaining 15 percent members to form SHGs.
The study reveals that 94 percent of the SHGs conducting meetings monthly once . The regularity of attending meetings by the members is 94.67 percent. Large members of SHGs conducting meetings to share the views of each member to overcome their problems. Other purposes for conducting the meetings are to calculate their saving amount, to know the loan details and to discuss economic problems in that order.
The study reveals that 98.33 percent beneficiaries undergone training given either at Mandal Parishad level or village level or district level or State level. The remaining 1.77 percent beneficiaries are not attended the trainings due to their personal causes. Most of these members undergone training given by the DRDA . In the large number of cases the training period is 1 to 3 days . The expenses were beared by training agency. More than seven tenth (70%) felt that training is useful for them in maintaining SHG accounts and solidarity . Most of them acquired group management, financial management skills by the training.
The SHG programme is intended to improve the socio economic status of rural women by encouraging them to undertake income generating activities. Most of the beneficiaries undertaken agriculture related income generating activities, besides other activities .
The SHG members get the benefits from their income generating activities only when they have adequate marketing facilities. Large number of beneficiaries sold their products either in the village or nearby open market. The markets lying within 10 kilometers radius of the beneficiaries villages. Majority beneficiaries are satisfied with the availing market facilities, to dispose their products
Among the various income generating activities, nearly 47.67 percent chosen small scale industry , 29.66 percent favoured self employment and the remaining preferred production activities. After initiating income generating activities, the beneficiaries faced the problems like less production, less income, bad climate, health problems etc.
The study reveals that more than seven tenths (73 percent) savings are Rs.50 to Rs.100 per month. About 23.67 percent savings are less than Rs.50. Only 3.33 percent savings are Rs.100 to Rs.200. The annual savings corresponds to their monthly savings. The accumulated saving amount depends upon the seniority of the members in a particular SHG. The study reveals that more than half (55.67 percent) of the respondents have accumulated savings ranges from Rs.1000 to Rs.5000.
The SHGs will continue as long as the members contemplate that its membership is useful for them. The study shows that 82.33 percent beneficiaries are positive towards the benefits of SHGs and only 2.67 percent viewed negatively.
The study revealed that 54.34 percent availed loans for productive purposes. While getting loans from different institutions problems are common. The study revealed only 4 percent beneficiaries faced problems in getting loans and others opined that they do not have problems. It is pertinent to note that 50 percent have taken the help in getting loans, either by landlords or non officials or Panchayat Raj representatives.
About 32.67 percent did not take any help and the remaining were not responded. About 40.67 percent have availed loan amount of Rs.10000 to Rs.15000 and 36.67 percent have availed loan amount Rs.5000 to Rs.10000. About 19.67 percent availed loan amount is below five thousand rupees and the remaining members have availed loan more than Rs.15000.
The Study shows that 38 percent repaid their loan amount fully, 45.67 percent repaid only part of their loan amount . About 16.33 percent not at all repaid their loan amount. Only 32.67 percent faced problems in repayment of their loans . To repay the loans, 54 percent beneficiaries have undertaken additional activities like starting petty shops, dairy, poultry, fruits vending, vegetable vending etc.
More than seven tenths (70.33 percent) respondents repaid their loan amount in 15 to 20 installments and 18 percent of them have taken more than 20 installments to repay their loans. The remaining 11.67 percent have repaid their loan amount in 10 to 15 installments.
The SHG has positive impact on the debt position of members after they become members in a particular SHG.
The awareness level of the sample respondents is not cent. To improve the awareness level of rural masses on the SHG programme, wide propaganda is essential by the government as well as voluntary agencies. To improve the awareness level it is also suggestible to request the older SHG members to canvass from door to door in the villages.
During the study it is found that most of the SHGs are not meeting regularly to discuss the matters pertaining to their group. So, it must be made obligatory to meet at least once in a week.
The members of SHG have to be little cautious in selecting their economic activities. They have to select their activities keeping in mind the availability of raw materials, sufficient financial assistance, marketing facilities and also the demand for their products.
Sufficient training has to be imparted to the SHG group members and also to group leaders taking into account their interest and educational standards. The women beneficiaries should be provided sufficient training before selecting their economic activity.
The required amount of loan to the activity has to be sanctioned.
Delay in sanctioning loans and also redtapism in the banks and in DRDA office, must be curbed by proper supervision by the sincere and honest officers.
Proper marketing facilities have to be provided to the SHG products, in order to have a continuous production process, so that the SHG groups would get sufficient revenue to run the activities continuously.
Trained staff should be provided only after which one expects progress in this field.
The beneficiaries should be given good equipment, so that they can be trained in a better way.
SHG should help their members in such a way to lead their lives in better standard.
SHG should see that the group should get good training throughout the training period especially in skilled training programmes.
The SHG group gives stipend to the trainees. For that reason only many women folk of the rural area attending the training programmes.
The beneficiaries have to be a little cautious in selecting their economic activities instead of depending on the middlemen or the officers working in banks or the DRDA. They have to select their activities keeping in mind the availability of raw materials, sufficient financial assistance, marketing facilities and also the demand for their products.
It is found in the study that the women beneficiaries are indebted to money lenders and others in the villages. So, they have diverted their income to clear the debts, hence socio-economic conditions of the women beneficiaries are to be studied before sanctioning the loan.
Forward and backward linkages are to be considered while sanctioning the activity.
The guidelines are so complicated that is the absence of assistance for officials even the educated Sarpanches may not understand them. Hence, the guidelines should be modified and simplified.
A centralized market is essential to self the finished products produced by SHG beneficiaries, hence the government have to establish centralized markets.
It is noticed in the survey that some of the women beneficiaries who are above the poverty line were brought into the fold of SHG. So, the officials should conduct proper household survey to identify the right beneficiaries.
Due to illiteracy the women beneficiaries were under the wrong impression that the government is sanctioning the loans freely and there is no need to repay. Hence, the beneficiaries should be cautioned about the consequences for non repayment of loans
The success of any developmental programme always depends upon the co-ordination among all the participating agencies and personnel in the planning, designing and execution of the programme. Same is the case with the latest programme of Self Help Groups.