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Vikash Sharma

The Ministry of Rural Development has launched a unique initiative which aims at creating ‘Lakhpati’ women who are part of Self Help Group (SHG).

As per plans, the Ministry will provide livelihood support to around 25 million rural women in SHG in the next two years so that they earn at least Rs 1 lakh per annum. Based on various models existing across the country, a detailed advisory has been issued to the State Governments.

A stakeholder’s consultation workshop was held with the states, BMGF (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and TRIF (Transformation Rural India Foundation) for further discussion on the subject, a PIB release read. Source said the importance of well-planned interventions to diversify livelihood activities at the household level ranging from Agriculture and allied, Livestock, NTFP (Non-timber Forest Products) and other interventions through convergence were emphasized to realize an annual income of Rs 1 lakh on a sustained basis.

National Rural Livelihood Mission works on a saturation approach. As on date, 6768 blocks have been covered under the programme with mobilizing 7.7 crore women into 70 lakh SHGs.

Initial capitalization support to the SHGs with credits to the tune of almost Rs 80,000 crore is being provided annually. Under the mission, poor women from different cross-sections of classes and caste form into Self Help Groups and their federations provides financial, economic and social development services to their members for enhancing their income and quality of life.

“Over the years, this money borrowed by SHGs through bank capitalization support is now being used for creating diversified livelihood opportunities. While all these efforts are yielding positive transformation, it is realized that for ensuring sustainable livelihoods and dignified life of women SHG members, there is a need to make concerted effort for ensuring at least Rs 1,00,000 income per annum for the household i.e. enabling them to become a Lakhpati. The figure of Rs 1 lakh is both aspirational and inspirational for rural SHG women,” the release added.

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