The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), which aims at reaching out to all poor families, has effectively covered nearly 50,000 women from BPL in the state through 9146 Self Help Groups (SHG).

Since the inception of NRLM from the year 2013-14 approx 11000 SHG have been formed and they have been benefited by giving the credit to the tune of Rs.90 crores over the span of three years. In addition to it, strong human resource capital has been developed by identifying round about 300 active women and going through rigorous protocol they have transitioned to become community resource persons. During the last financial years 52 village organizations have been formed which have availed community investment funds in the 5 intensive blocks to the tune of Rs.1.05 crores.

In order to strengthen and provide greater financial support to the poor families, NRLM has been made operational in the State from April, 2013. In the first phase of the implementation, five Blocks viz. Kandagaht, Mandi Sadar, Nurpur, Haroli and Basantpur have been selected as Intensive Blocks whereas the remaining Non Intensive Blocks would be covered in a phased manner in next four years.

The Centre Government has approved Rs. 1492.11 lakh since inception of the programme for the Pradesh out of which Rs. 333 lakh is the state share.

In Himachal Pradesh, the NRLM would be covering all the BPL families initially and later on all the poorest of the poor and also families which are marginally above poverty line would be selected through the process of participatory identification of poor by organizing them into SHGs. These groups have been linked with Banks for micro financing. Under the programme, Bank would provide a loan of Rs. 2-3 lakh on seven percent interest to each SHG for initially starting its venture which would be repeated upto Rs. 10 lakh depending on the performance of the SHG.

In Shimla and Mandi districtd, banks will provide loan to all women SHGs upto Rs 3 lakh at 7 percent interest. These SHGs will also get additional interest subvention of 3 percent on regular repayment of loan, reducing the effective rate of interest to 4 percent. This interest subvention is being provided by the Government of India. For coordinating and smoothening of the SHG Bank linkages and delivery of interest subvention, a sub-committee of State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) has been constituted.

As of today, 6345 SHGs have been linked with the Banks providing them the credit of Rs. 59.09 crore against target of Rs. 148 crore. Revolving fund of Rs. 2.97 crore has also been distributed amongst the groups by the Department.

During current fiscal, the focus is being laid on capacity building and institutionalization of SHGs. All active women of intensive block will be identified amongst SHGs members and would be trained in such a manner so that they are able to take responsibility of internal Community Resource Persons (CRPs) and for providing necessary support to the SHGs and village organization.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.