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                                    Self Help Groups
     Self Help groups are groups of rural poor people (especially women).  The idea is to help them organize themselves, help them financially, provide them work, help them in other matters including domestic issues.
Such groups are helped by the government and its policies.

      Government provides such groups loans at very low interests and provides help to market the products of SHG. There are usually a dozen or more members in a group.  This group acts an intermediary between the people in the village and the banks.

      NABARD (National Bank for Agricultural Rural Development) helps the SHGs to promote the cottage (handicrafts, oils, soaps, packaged agro-products, pickles, chutneys, home foods etc) and village industries.

        The objectives of SHG:

1.  To organize rural people (sometimes urban people too) and especially women into groups, in which they help themselves.  They regularly may do a service or produce a product of an acceptable quality.  The members usually have similar background and financial condition.

2. To collect the money saved by the members, manage the savings.

3.  To provide the members loans as and when they need, without much process and tough terms of loan.  The loans are given at low interest rates.  This kind of credits are called micro-credits. The money from savings of all persons in the group is used for loans.

4.  To arrange a forum or platform for the members to discuss various issues related to education, social injustice, domestic violence, development, health issues, nutrition related issues, government policies and benefits etc.

5.  These groups may be registered groups or unregistered.  This group functions informally and is efficient.  These groups are started and supported by many NGO (non-governmental organizations).

6.  The empowerment of women, advise the use of birth controls,  help them getting over superstitions, educating the members and encouraging them to join their children in schools.