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Member-Control and Self Reliance for Sustainability of the SHG Movement


Background

SHGs were first promoted in the 1980s in Andhra Pradesh. Rural women who are significant players in the economy were, earlier, neither thought nor spoken of as creditworthy, however with the proliferation of the SHG model in the countryside, several rural communities denied of credit for years, now have easy credit flowing into their villages to all the communities. The hitherto invisible and voiceless rural woman was suddenly being wooed by political parties, not as a puppet to be manipulated, but as a local leader who was articulate and courageous, and would stand up for what she believes. This has been possible only due to the presence of several SHGs and their Federations. This movement has given the much-needed visibility and projected the women on a platform leading to not only their empowerment but also the families and the communities as a whole.

However, there are few grey areas in SHGs and SHG federations on which focus needs to be given in order to make these institutions more sustainable. One major focus area shall be on the promotion of sense of ownership among stakeholders and reducing the dependence on external agencies and agendas.


Bikanoor MS receiving AWARD from District Collector

MAS Interventions

MAS always believes that underlying issues can be corrected and members can be encouraged to increase their financial stake and take over ownership responsibilities, so that the movement progresses, and does so sustainably. We, in MAS, believe that the future of SHGs and their federations lies in increased member control over the movement resulting in long term sustainability. To this end, MAS, in close association with Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), has begun a pilot project following a participatory approach in six mandals of the Kamareddy cluster of recently formed Kamareddy district in Telangana covering 6337 SHGs, 279 VOs and 8 MSs.


SOC Pilot

MAS with technical and financial support from DGRV has been making efforts to consolidate and up -scale Sector-Own-Control (SOC) within Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of the country. Till date substantial progress has been made towards achieving the objectives initially envisaged. In addition, to the existing objectives, MAS has started supporting four Self-Help Promoting Institutions (SHPIs) in other states for operationalizing the concept of SOC in their respective operational areas. MAS also started utilizing services of Community Resource Persons developed by Kamareddy Paryavekshana Samakhya (KCPS) to support and strengthen SHGs and their federations in other states.

Test course with community members at Kamareddy Mandal


GOAL

Develop Self-reliant, Self-Managed and Sustainable Self-Help Institutions

Objectives

  • Develop SHGs & SHG federations into self-managed, self-reliant, & sustainable institutions
  • Strengthen KCPS in intensifying their own system of regulation & supervision and operationalizing their business plan
  • Customizing and piloting SOC system with Farmers Producer Organizations and Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACSs)
  • Up-scaling SOC system in partnership with the large Self-Help Promoting Institutions working in rural and urban areas in different states of India and beyond
  • Sustainable increase in the incomes of small land holders through Farmer Producer Organizations in Kamareddy district of Telangana
Location Kamareddy in Telangana & up-scaling across the country
Donor DGRV, Germany
Project Period January to December 2017
Partners SERP, SHIPs, SRLMs, NRLM
Outreach 8 MSs, 279 VOs and 6337 SHGs in 8 Mandals

The SOC project contributes to the SDG 5 -Sustainable Development Goals);to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.


Vision, Objectives and Strategies of KCPS


Key Achievements

KCPS Vision

Facilitate SHGs and SHG federations into financially prudent, profitable, socially responsible institutions for socio-economic development of their members on sustainable basis

Objectives of KCPS

  • Protection of members savings at SHG, VO & MS levels
  • Inclusion, without discrimination, of all who need and can make use of the services of the movement
  • Democratic governance and competent management at all levels
  • Adoption of prudent practices in the provision of financial services to members
  • Maintaining the highest standards of business and management performance at all levels

Strategies:

  • Develop Kamareddy cluster into a model cluster
  • Emerge KCPS as audit and technical support institution in Telangana state
  • Establish SOC (in Telugu it is Swayam Niyantrana Udhyamam) in other states and countries
  • KCPS will become strong training cum resource centre
  • Evolve KCPS as self-reliant institution

Major Activities and Achievements

The highlights of achievements in the journey of KCPS till date


Activity
SHGs
VOs
MS
Social Capital Developed
Units
Elections conducted 4736 279 05 Supervisors 32
Annual Planning held 4615 279 05 Resource pool 22
General Body meetings held 4736 279 05 SHG auditors 442
External Audit (first) done 5191 279 05 Facilitators 225
External Audit (Repeated) done 4836 279 05 SHG BKs 2070
Interest on Savings 4836 0 05 CRPs(other states) 105
Internal audit of VOs (Quarterly) 0 243 05 No. of exposures organised 92
Awards 228 92 02 Visitors from No. of countries 15
MIS 5669 279 05 Visitors from No. Of states 22
Financial Literacy Centers 4615 169 05 No. Of Visitors 1856

Besides the KCPS has been involved in the following major activities:

  • KCPS started lending support to 3 Maha Samakhyas (Warangal, Mahabubnagar and Khammam) for implementation of community audit systems
  • 106 community auditors were trained on SHG auditing in 6 batches
  • KCPS was recognised as a state level resource agency by SERP to strengthen SHGs and their federations in other states
  • 105 CRPs / senior CRPs and 15 PRPs were given 100 of intensive residential training to develop them for deployment in West Bengal, UP & Bihar.
  • 15 PRPs and 60 CRPs were deputed to West Bengal and 30 Senior CRPs to Bihar.KCPS also deployed 20 CRPs to MAS operational area in Digwara & Garkha blocks of Saran district in Bihar.
  • Till date KCPS organised 94 exposure visits for 1834 members.
  • In this year alone,18 publications and learning materials developed.

The following committees have also been formulated as part of SOC activities to achieve its vision and objectives:

Co-ordination Committee: Office bearers of all the six MSs in the cluster are part of this committee, which focusses on developing strategies and propagating the self-regulation process. This committee guides the mandal level federation in developing and establishing internal control systems.

Advisory Group: An advisory committee was formed with representation from IKP and MAS which provides its support through material/module development, organizing capacity and knowledge building trainings and exposures, propagating self-audit and assessment procedures.

Co-ordination Committee and Think Tank: The Co-ordination Committee meets once every two months, to review progress. A think tank of all the Executive Committee members of all the six MSs, also meets once every four months to review working drafts prepared by the Advisory group. Through the review, conclusions are arrived after intense debates and final publications are given to MAS which publishes the materials. Some of the drafts reviewed include internal and external audit of SHG federations and annual plans.

Structure of SOC Project


Package of Resource Materials


Book No.
Book Name
1
The significance of Savings
2
The significance of Loans
3
SHG Bookkeeping
4
Reconstruction of Accounts in SHGs
5
Guidelines and checklist for SHG External Audit
6
Annual Planning for SHGs
7
Federation Bookkeeping
8
Federation Internal Audit
9
Federation External Audit
10
Election Process in SHGs and Federations
12
Annual planning for our Federations
11
The Best Performance Awards
13
Understanding Financial Statements
14
Surplus Management in SHGs and Federations
15
Fixation and calculation of interest in SHGs
16A
Management Information system in SHG
16B
Management Information system in Federation
17
Model annual planning of SHG & Federation
18
Financial management in federations
SOC video film avail in Telugu, Hindi and English language
SOC posters: set of posters (seven posters)

Constraints and Challenges

  • The staff machinery and authorities not very keen to take forward the SOC concept.
  • Vested interests dilute the unity of the SHGs and their Federations.
  • Political interest to utilise the presence and collective strength of the SHG moment.
  • Lack of adequate and timely cooperation from the concerned authorities for effective implementation of planned activities.
  • Taking the SOC to next level.

Way Forward

When MAS first began its work in the cluster, it of course, expected a reasonably good response, but was quite surprised by the innate competence and capabilities of the women. Their thirst for knowledge, their joy in dealing with complex issues of election management, reconstruction of accounts, audit, arriving at weightages for performance standards, reviewing financial statements, and so on, have been truly inspiring. It is necessary that the SHG members and SHG federations agree upon the need for SOC, declare their willingness to accept ownership, and be willing to implement SOC effectively. With this in view, MAS started the pilot with SOC capacity building. Now SHG-members and federation are sensitive towards SOC issues and, therefore, ready for further development and implementation.

MAS is conscious that it has a long way to go before it can declare the intervention ‘successful’, but it is also aware that it is on the right track, that this is work worth undertaking, that the rural woman wants to be in the driver’s seat and is capable not just of driving, but also of manoeuvring through obstacles that may come her way, that her intelligence and dedication to making the world around her a happier place for all need to be nurtured and brought to fruition. It is for this reason that MAS is choosing to share, even at this early stage, its thoughts on and experiences in Sector Own Control.

KCPS and MAS believe that similar processes need to be initiated in all other states, too, and in all other districts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana itself and would like to provide the necessary support for such up scaling work. The SHGs and its federations belong to its members – let us, together, ensure that our interventions (all external) do not in any way undermine that ownership, but rather facilitate its development and growth.





Photos

Annual General Body meeting

Submission of Annual Accounts in GB

Reviewing of draft on Understanding Financial Statements by think tank

Book keepers training by Resource Bookkeepers


District level workshop on SOC-FPO at KMR

District level workshop on SOC-FPO at KMR

District level workshop on SOC-FPO at KMR

District level workshop on SOC-FPO at KMR


Kamareddy district MS OBs training on SOC three batches


Dissemination of SOC activities in other States

Dissemination of SOC activities in other States

Dissemination of SOC activities in other States

Dissemination of SOC activities in other States

Dissemination of SOC activities in other States

Dissemination of SOC activities in other States

Dissemination of SOC activities in other States

Dissemination of SOC activities in other States

RGMVP Rajasthan state RPs TOT training

RGMVP RPs TOT Training


Training Material for SHG Federations


Training Material for SHG Federations

Training Material for SHG Federations

Training Material for SHG Federations

Training Material for SHG Federations

Training Material for SHG Federations

Training Material for SHG Federations

Training Material for SHG Federations