Aim: The aim of Lakhpati Didi Scheme is to provide skill development training to women to encourage them to establish micro-enterprises so that they can earn at least Rs 1 lakh annually.
Target: The government’s goal is to create two crore “Lakhpati didis” (prosperous sisters) in villages through women’s self-help groups(SHGs).
Skills covered: The women would be trained in skills like plumbing, LED bulb making and operating and repairing drones among others.
– Initially, women in around 15,000 self-help groups (SHGs) would be trained to fly and repair drones.
– This training will not only create new avenues for income generation but also equip women with cutting-edge skills.
E-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, Mantra, Paytm Mall, and Government e-Market Place (GeM) are also being tied up to get a fair market for women’s products belonging to Self Help Groups.
What are SHGs?
- Self-help groups (SHGs) are informal associations of people who choose to come together to find ways to improve their living conditions.
- It can be defined as a self-governed, peer-controlled information group of people with similar socio-economic backgrounds and having a desire to collectively perform a common purpose.
- SHG relies on the notion of “Self Help” to encourage self-employment and poverty alleviation.
- To build the functional capacity of the poor and the marginalized in the field of employment and income-generating activities.
- To resolve conflicts through collective leadership and mutual discussion.
- To provide collateral-free loans with terms decided by the group at market-driven rates.
- To work as a collective guarantee system for members who propose to borrow from organized sources.
- The poor collect their savings and save it in banks. In return, they receive easy access to loans with a small rate of interest to start their micro unit enterprise.
What is the Need for SHGs?
- One of the reasons for rural poverty in our country is low access to credit and financial services.
- A Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan to prepare a comprehensive report on ‘Financial Inclusion in the Country’ identified four major reasons for the lack of financial inclusion:
- Inability to provide collateral security,
- Poor credit absorption capacity,
- Inadequate reach of the institutions, and
- Weak community network.
- The existence of sound community networks in villages is increasingly being recognized as one of the most important elements of credit linkage in rural areas.
- They help in accessing credit to the poor and thus, play a critical role in poverty alleviation.
- They also help to build social capital among the poor, especially women. This empowers women and gives them a greater voice in society.
- Financial independence through self-employment has many externalities such as improved literacy levels, better health care, and even better family planning.