Ministry of Rural Development launches initiative for SHG women to become ‘lakhpatis’

The Ministry of Rural Development recently launched an initiative to create Lakhpati SHG women to enable rural SHG women to earn at least Rs 1 lakh per annum.
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The Ministry of Rural Development recently launched an initiative to create Lakhpati SHG women to enable rural SHG women to earn at least Rs 1 lakh per annum.

To achieve this ambitious goal, the ministry has envisioned livelihood support to 25 million rural SHG women in the next two years. Based on various models existing across India, the government has issued a detailed advisory to state governments.

In fact, it conducted a stakeholders consultation workshop with the state governments, BMGF (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and TRIF (Transformation Rural India Foundation) to further discuss the subject on October 28, 2021. 

The stakeholders emphasised 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 to realise an annual income of Rs 1 lakh on a sustained basis.

Moreover, they highlighted the importance of strengthening SHG, village organisations, and CLFs (cluster-level federations) to anchor these interventions.  

According to the ministry, the dedicated community cadres of SHG members trained in different fields, civil society organisations, KVKs (Krishi Vigyan Kendras), and other private market players would be instrumental in realising this goal.

At present, 6,768 blocks have been covered under the National Rural Livelihood Mission, mobilising 7.7 crore women into 70 lakh SHGs, the ministry said.

Moreover, the ministry has provided funding worth Rs 80,000 crore annually to the SHGs, where poor women from SHGs provide financial, economic, and social development services to their members to enhance their income and quality of life. 

"While all these efforts are yielding positive transformation, it is realised that for ensuring sustainable livelihoods and dignified life of women SHG members, there is a need to make a concerted effort for ensuring at least Rs 1 lakh 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 ministry said.

The Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana — a flagship scheme under the Ministry of Rural Development — organises rural poor into self-governed institutions, with a focus on building capacity and creating diversified livelihood opportunities for rural poor women. 

The mission has made successful strides through the Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana, focusing on the role of women as farmers. Moving from the phase of community mobilisation and building institutions of women, now, the focus is on envisaging SHG women in higher-order economic activities through producer groups, FPOs, and producer companies, the ministry said.

Edited by Suman Singh