One of the thrust areas of Essar Foundation’s interventions is in the arena of women’s empowerment. Women in rural areas have steadily made strides in economic development, entrepreneurship and wider social changes through collective action and peer support. The mechanism that seems to have worked well in this direction is that of women’s self-help groups (SHGs).
Essar Foundation has been organizing a wide array of initiatives under its capacity building program for self-help groups in 15 villages of Durgapur. In a series of meetings and consultations held with SHG members several issues regarding proper functioning and management of SHGs emerged. One of the weak areas was group record management, credit and interest calculation and accounts maintenance. To address these gaps the Foundation organized training in effective management to the SHG leaders and treasurers on August 23, 2013.
The training was inaugurated by Gram Panchayat Pradhan and Upo Pradhan (Deputy Pradhan) of Gopalpur Panchayat. Fifty one SHG leaders and treasurers of 37 groups from seven villages under Gopalpur Gram Panchayat attended the training.
The training was conducted by two award-winning SHG members of Bankura District. The sessions covered topics like how to manage group savings and credit, inter-loaning, types of records to be maintained, book-keeping processes, role of treasurers in record keeping, etc. The trainings were made interesting with engaging games like group bonding games and leadership games. The participants were delighted with the training and looked forward to refresher sessions. The training was conducted with technical support from NGO partner Durgapur-Sundaram Creative Welfare Society.