IMPACT OF SELF HELP GROUP ON EMPOWERMENT AND LIVELIHOOD OF RURAL WOMEN IN RAJKOT DISTRICT
The self-help group is a voluntary association of those people who are in need of small funds to establish or to promote their small enterprise. Its main objective is to provide economic opportunities to the group to improve their socio-economic status by organizing and participating in their voluntary and democratic association. Many international and national bodies have stressed on women empowerment giving attention to their participation in society, decision-making, education and health. In India, micro finance and Self Help Group (SHG) intervention have brought tremendous change in the life of women at the grass root level. Hence, the present study was conducted to find out the impact of self-help group in terms of empowered benefits derived by the beneficiaries after joining and becoming a member. A sample of eighty respondents were purposively selected from three talukas of Rajkot district covering ten operational villages by purposive random sampling method. Respondents were approached to assess their socio-economic and personal benefits derived after joining the Self-help groups. Results found that majority of the respondents were from young age group, educated up to higher secondary and had occupation as agriculture and allied activities. Results revealed that women got highly benefitted in dealing with banking related formalities and thus ranked I with a WMS=3.14. and concept of saving money with the help of bank and postal agency got increased and thus hold II rank with WMS=3.11. Moreover, not only communication skills but also there is a remarkable increase in their self-confidence and self-esteem and now can stand in a group with full courage and can hinder their shy. Very less benefits in terms of economic needs that the income generated is yet not sufficient to fulfill all their economic needs and hence scored last rank in terms of benefits.
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