Dr Satyajeet Nanda
As the popular adage goes, ‘When you educate a man, you educate an individual. When you educate a woman, you educate an entire society.’ It is with this belief that the Women and Child department of the Government of Karnataka has designed and implemented schemes that focuses on empowering women for the overall development of society.
One such scheme is the Stree Shakti programme that uses the Self-Help Group (SHG) model to create positive change. The model finds its success in that women are encouraged to save collectively, thus increasing both economic independence and agency in the long run.
While the SHG model has been successful, in encouraging women to save and gain a degree of financial independence, the trickle-down effects of the scheme in terms of increased access and agency for women has been sub-optimal owing to several limitations. It is against this backdrop that the PAC has undertaken this action research project to help improve capacities of SHGs and empower them to foster development
Director, Department of Women & Child Development
Government of Karnataka
Q. What are the key components of Stree Shakthi that you would like to focus?
A. The various components include:
- Savings and Inter Loaning and Revolving Fund
- Credit Linkages to SHGs
- Income Generating Activities
- Incentives for Excess Savings and Subsidy at 6% on the Loans
- Exhibition and Marketing Melas
- Taluk Level Federation of SHG’s
- Training for Strengthening of Clusterers/Block Society
- Construction of District Marketing Complex.
- Stree Shakthi Bhavana /Malige
- Construction of Divisional Level Training Centres
Q. How do you see the role of SHG Members in the Stree Shakthi Programme?
A.The Stree Shakthi programme has been launched basically to enhance economic stability among its members. It also helps in implicating their saving habits through which they can internally come up with income generating activities. This in turn increases their access to banking activities to improve the financial transactions. This scheme also endeavours to see social empowerment of women through meetings, documentation, trainings, awareness etc. Finally, it enables their participation from grass route to higher level.
Q. How do you see the role of organisation like PAC in enhancing in the Stree Shakthi Programme?
A. PAC’s role will specifically:
- Evaluate the scheme as per its objectives
- Study the active/inactive groups and reasons
- Describe the utilisation of facilities provided through the scheme
- Understand the gap or loopholes if any
- Describe the role of SHG’s Okkuta’s in their own upliftment
This project is ongoing and PAC ensures that this project will apply an “Action Research” to ensure that findings from research can be turned into actionable remedies.
A preliminary analysis shows that Bengaluru and Mysore divisions have relatively more SHGs in various districts, compared to the other 2 divisions of Karnataka.
This graph shows the distribution of registered SHGs across 30 districts within the 4 divisions of Karnataka.
Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is a 3-year project assigned by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Department (Government of Karnataka) to PAC. Primarily the project will
enable community ownership of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centres
to hold accountable service providers in the ICDS service delivery value chain.
Public Affairs Centre (PAC) engages in action research focussing on Sustainable Development
Goals (SDG) in the context of India. PAC is not for profit think tank established in 1994
with a mandate to improve the quality of governance in India. The Centre is also a pioneer in
deploying innovative Social Accountability Tools (SAT) to measure the quality and
adequacy of public services.