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SBI released a study titled “Of the Women, By the Women, For the NATION”

Why is it in the news?

  • The study aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the changing dynamics within Self-Help Groups (SHGs) by analysing the patterns of credit utilization and digital behaviour among SHGs, their members, and Lakhpati Didis (SHG members earning an annual household income of ₹1 lakh or more).
Self-Help Groups

·       These groups are voluntary organizations governed by established rules and regulations, dedicated to achieving common economic and social objectives through participatory decision-making and equitable distribution of benefits.


Key Highlights of the Report

  • Income Growth: The study reveals a significant increase in the incomes of female SHG members, which have more than tripled over the last five years, indicating substantial economic empowerment.
  • Financial Inclusion: Almost all SHGs, accounting for approximately 97.5%, now possess bank accounts, showcasing the widespread financial inclusion facilitated by SHG initiatives.
  • Income Mobility: Around 65% of rural SHG members have experienced upward mobility in terms of relative income from the financial year 2019 to 2024, highlighting the effectiveness of SHG interventions in enhancing economic status.
  • Impact on Female Labor Force Participation: The rise in income among female SHG members correlates positively with the increase in the rural Female Labor Force Participation Rate, indicating a strong relationship between SHG participation and women’s workforce engagement.
SHG Bank Linkage Programme (SHG-BLP)

·       Initiated as a pilot project by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in 1992-93 with the objective of linking around 500 SHGs to formal financial institutions.

·       Over time, the SHG-BLP has evolved into the largest microfinance program, effectively connecting marginalized communities with formal financial services in a sustainable manner.

Other Empowerment Initiatives for SHGs

·       Micro Enterprise Development Programme: This program focuses on providing need-based skill development opportunities for matured SHGs, empowering members with the skills necessary for entrepreneurship.

·       Livelihood and Enterprise Development Programmes: These initiatives aim to conduct livelihood promotion programs in clusters, fostering economic growth and sustainability within SHG communities.

·       Scheme for Promotion of Women SHGs (WSHGs): Specifically targeted at uplifting SHGs in backward and Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts of India, this scheme aims to address gender disparities and promote women’s empowerment.

·       National Rural Livelihood Mission: This mission provides interest subvention to eligible SHGs, further enhancing their access to financial resources and supporting their journey towards economic self-reliance.


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