Andhra Pradesh India state government helps form self help groups

"Following on successes in earlier programs, which were modified to make them more meaningful, the state has promoted significant increases in SHGs using a social mobilization approach. The state-sponsored Velugu program working in over 860 mandals (sub-district geographical unit) in 22 districts, aims to reach 2.9 million of the poorest of rural poor. Both the number and structure of self-help groups in Andhra Pradesh has been scaled up. The state established an independent support organization to implement poverty elimination projects which aim at social mobilization to enhance livelihoods and employment generation opportunities of the poor. Self-managed grassroots institutions have been federated into village level and sub-district level groups. These groups provide an organizational identity to help SHGs realize the benefits of a larger organization without losing the advantages of small organization. Federations of SHGs are fast becoming powerful voices expressing the social and economic needs of the poor" (pages 7-8).

---- "It is within this state [Andhra Pradesh] of India that the SHG has constituted a primary route towards poverty alleviation and development. Both state and NGO initiative have recognized the value of forming small groups of poor people who have a common desire to generate livelihood options. Further, micro credit is seen as the key to unlock the poverty trap. SHGs are also supposed to empower women. Currently Andhra Pradesh has mobilized and organized 48 lakh poor women in the rural areas into 3.7 lakh groups. These women's groups have built up a corpus fund of Rs 750 crores consisting of their savings, borrowings from banks and revolving funds from government programs. The major poverty alleviation project through which SHGs are promoted is the state-sponsored Velugu , working in over 860 mandals in 22 districts, aiming to reach 29 lakhs of the poorest of rural poor" (page 5).

A case study from Reducing Poverty, Sustaining Growth—What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why A Global Exchange for Scaling Up Success. Scaling Up Poverty Reduction: A Global Learning Process and Conference, Shanghai, May 25–27, 2004 Women’s Self-Help Groups in Andhra Pradesh—Participatory Poverty Alleviation in Action Dr. Joy Deshmukh-Ranadive Senior Fellow, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, 25, Bhai Vir Singh Marg, Gole Market, New Delhi 110001 [FM LAPPE wrote to author asking about update 6.1.14)

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