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  • 1. International Journal of Management (IJM), – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online) International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 Volume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), © IAEMEISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online) IJMVolume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), pp. 156-163© IAEME, ©IAEME EMPOWERING RURAL WOMEN ALL THE WAY THROUGH SELF-HELP GROUPS Dr. J. Venkatesh Assistant Professor School of Management Studies Anna University of Technology Coimbatore. Coimbatore, E-Mail id: Ms. K.Kala Research scholar Anna University of Technology Coimbatore. Coimbatore, E-Mail id: ABSTRACT In the mounting countries these days, more and more prominence is laid on the call for women development and their input in the main torrent of progress process. Apart from managing household and bearing children, rural women bring income with productive activities through working in the fields of factories or running small and petty businesses. The Indian Government and state authorities has realized the consequence of devoting awareness to the economic betterment of women in India. In reality rural women have harder lives and are habitually discriminated adjacent to with regard to land and property rights, and in access to medical facilities and rural finance. Women take on the more burdensome tasks such as day-to-day administration of households like collection of fuel wood for cooking, fetching of drinking water. And their literacy rates are lower than the rates of men. A key instrument for women’s empowerment are self- help groups, whereby 10-20 rural women from the same village, mostly poor women, come together to contribute two-weekly or monthly dues as savings and provide group loans to their members. Key Words: Empowerment, Income, Women 156
  • 2. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online)Volume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), © IAEMESELF-HELP GROUPS Certainly, Self-help Groups are fetching more than just financial intermediaries.They have materialized into a more social unit of society. More prominently, thediffusion of microfinance to the poorest of the poor is still weak and thus it needs a widerreach. Normally Self-help groups are assisted by NGOs in a variety of income-generatingactivities. In the Project of Tamil Nadu Women’s Development, 50 per cent of womenself-help group members reported that, they had visited new places and travelled longerdistances for the first time in their lives, while 90 per cent had interacted with institutionssuch as banks, NGOs and project agencies. The impact study reveals that access tofinance through group savings and had allowed women to become ever more occupied ineconomic activities such as the collection and sale on local markets.A CASE STUDY OF SELF HELP GROUPS IN THE SOUTH TAMILNADUINTRODUCTION The chief problems of any under developed countries are poverty and joblessness.In India, at the stop of ninth five year plan 26.1% of the population was living belowpoverty line. In the rural area 27.1% of the population was living under poverty. Theoverall unemployment rate is estimated to 7.32%. The unemployment rate of female is8.5%. The growth rate of unemployment of women in the rural area is 9.8%. This is forthe reason that the growth rate was low of new and productive employment.REVIEW OF LITERATURE Johnson (1999) in his study “Micro-credit Initiatives for Equitable andSustainable Development: Who Pays?” notes that product design rarely addresses gender-specific aspects of the use of financial services. Indeed, despite the pervasive belief thatmicrofinance helps women, few programs have developed concrete ways to meet thedistinct demands of poor women for saving services. (Sabyasachi Das. 2003) The more attractive scheme with less effort is “Self HelpGroup”. It is a tool to remove poverty and improve the rural development. Johnson and Storey (1994) suggest that women entrepreneurs are less likely to bemarried or have a professional qualification or to start self-employment under 30. 157
  • 3. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online)Volume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), © IAEME Vokins (1994) study of successful women entrepreneurs suggested they had adifferent approach: an ability to do several things at once; ability to admit mistakes; keento develop the workforce; less concerned with outward trappings. Women also faceddifferent problems. Simpson (1991) found that their partners do not help with domestic chores or thebusiness, whilst the reverse is true for men. Simpson also suggested that women have towork harder to gain credibility. Hashemi (1996) in his article “Managing Credit for the Rural Poor: Lessons fromthe Grameen Bank” investigated whether women’s access to credit has any impact ontheir lives, irrespective of who had the managerial control. Eapen and Kodoth (2002) in their study “Micro enterprise finance: is there aconflict between growth and poverty alleviation?” stress the need to examine noconventional indicators to assess women’s status in this state, such as an alarming rate ofgender-based violence. Furthermore, the ability to influence household decision-making,and in particular to assume self decisions, remains limited.FUNCTIONS OF SHGS • Universal finance will be generated by the members through their habitual savings. • Working system will be flexible and pool the resources in a democratic way. • Periodical meeting is conducted. • The process of decision making is done through group meeting. • It is very effortless to repay in time as the loan amount is diminutive and sound. The prior studies which are related to SHGs have evidently understood that theSHGs are the means to endorse rural savings and lucrative employment. Thereforewomen members are cost-effectively independent and their contribution to householdincome is also enlarged. The present study is focusing on the economic improvement ofwomen after joining the SHGs.WORKING OF SHGS SHGs are working in self-governing manner. The member’s upper limit in agroup is constrained to 20. Among them one member is elected as an ‘animator’ and 158
  • 4. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online)Volume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), © IAEMEother two members are elected as the representatives. The animator is usually selected forthe time of two years. The members of group meet every week. They discuss on thesubject of group savings, rotation of sangha funds, bank loan, repayment of loan, socialand community action programmes.OBJECTIVES The overall objective of the present study is to make analysis of the economicempowerment of women through SHGs in the south districts of Tamil Nadu. Howevermore specifically:1. To discover the income, expenditure and savings of the members after joining SHGs.2. To recognize the role of SHGs in providing rural credit.METHODOLOGY The present study has covered a few villages from south districts of Tamil Nadu.These villages were chosen for this study, because the SHGs in these villages arefunctioning very productively. This study is accumulated with the help of the primarydata covered only one year period (2009-10). The primary data were collected with thehelp of interview schedule. Absolutely 134 respondents were chosen from 20 SHGs (398total members) of districts by simple random sampling method. The sample size was 1/3of the total members in the SHGs. This study is merely a descriptive study. Onlypercentage and average were used for the analysis.ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION This study is connected to the economic empowerment of women in the SouthTamil Nadu. Wholly twenty SHGs are functioning in the study area with 398 members.134 respondents were selected for the study from 398 members. Table-1 Age Group of Members of SHGsSl.No. Age Group No. of respondents Percentage1. Less than 20 6 4.462. 20-30 30 22.393. 30-40 32 23.884. 40-50 36 26.875. 50-60 18 13.436. Above 60 12 8.96 Total 134 100.00 159
  • 5. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online)Volume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), © IAEMEINTERPRETATION In the South districts of Tamil Nadu, 20-30 and 30-40 age groups are activelyparticipated in the SHGs activities. The people aged (40-50) are also in the SHGs. Theycan only manage and resolve the problems arise in the groups. Chart-1 Age Group of Members of SHGs Table – 2 Reasons for Joining SHGsSl. No. Reasons No. of respondents Percentage1. For getting loan 58 43.282. For promoting savings 20 14.923. For social status 44 32.844. For other reasons 12 8.96 Total 134 100.00INTERPRETATION In the study area many people (43.28%) the SHGs for receiving financial support,32.84% of the respondents joins the SHGs for the social status. 14.92% of therespondents join for civilizing their savings. For social, cultural and politicalimprovement (other reasons 8.96%) join in the SHGs. Chart -2 Reasons for Joining SHGs Table-3 Income Level of the Members 160
  • 6. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online)Volume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), © IAEMEMonthly Incomes of the Members Before and After Joining SHGsBefore Joining After JoiningSHGs SHGsSl. No. Monthly Income No. of Percentage No. of Percentage Rs. Respondents Respondents1. Less than 1000 16 11.95 5 3.732. 1000-2000 25 18.66 26 19.403. 2000-3000 42 31.34 45 33.584. 3000-4000 4 2.96 14 10.455. 4000-5000 10 7.46 33 24.636. 5000-6000 5 3.75 6 4.487. Above 6000 2 1.49 3 2.238. Non-earning 30 22.39 2 1.49 members Total 134 100.00 134 100.00INTERPRETATION Many housewives (22.39%) did not bring in anything before joining SHGs, butafter a member of the SHGs, they are earning rationally. This increases the readiness tocontribute in the SHGs’ activities. Chart-3 (i) Showing the Monthly Incomes Before Joining the SHGs Chart-3(ii) Showing the Monthly Incomes After Joining the SHGsNote: The rate of interest is 1% to 4%. It varies group o group 161
  • 7. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online)Volume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), © IAEME Table – 4 Amount of Loan Availed by the members Through SHGs Sl.No. Availed Loan Amount Rs. No. of Respondents Percentage 1. Less than 5,000 23 17.16 2. 5,000 to 10,000 28 20.90 3. 10,000 to 15,000 29 21.64 4. 15,000 to 20,000 35 26.12 5. Above 20,000 19 14.18 Total 134 100.00INTERPRETATION Many women members independently engage in the financial activitiesindependently and with other group members after joining SHGs. At the present timemany SHGs are opening small business etc. Chart -4 Table – 5 Repayment of Loan by SHGs’ MembersSl.No. Particulars No. of Respondents Percentage1. Repayment in time 86 64.182. Repayment in advance 25 18.663. Repayment not in time 23 17.16 Total 134 100.00INTERPRETATION Moreover banks coach the members to set aside minimum Rs. 200 per month. Sore-payment is very effortless to SHGs. The loans can be used by individual groupmembers for their personal needs. 162
  • 8. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online)Volume 1, Number 2, Oct - Nov (2010), © IAEME Chart-5CONCLUSION The cram was embarked on the women empowerment of SHGs in the SouthTamil Nadu. It is found after joining the SHGs the income of the women has beenaugmented. So that the monthly household outflow also has been lifted considerablelevel. The first-class practice of the women SHGs in the study area is repayment of theloan in time. Almost 64% of the debtor remunerated their monthly due within the time. Asmall number of members do not disburse in time but this is not touching the furthercredit of SHGs. In view of the fact that the reimbursement of loan is regular and withinthe time, we may terminate that the economic activities of SHGs are in quite success. Inthis way SHGs in South Tamil Nadu are very victorious to extend women empowermentin rural areas.REFERENCES • Neera Burra, Joy Deshmukh-Ranadive and Ranjani K.Murthy, 2005, ‘Micro- Credit, Poverty and Empowerment: Linking the triad’ Sage Publications • NABARD initiatives turn rural women into entrepreneurs’, The Hindu, Feb 20, • Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen, 2002, ‘India: Development and Participation’, Oxford University Press • Dodkey, M.D. (1999), “SHGs and Micro Credit, Sustaining Rural Women”, Social Welfare, March, 45. 12: 19-20 • K.G.Karmakar, 1999, ‘Rural Credit and Self-Help Groups: Micro-finance needs and concepts in India’, Sage Publications 163