Self Help Group : Enabling members to reap economic benefit in villages of Samastipur, Bihar

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Self-help group are small informal association created for the purposes of enabling members to reap economic benefit out of mutual help, solidarity and joint responsibility.

The Self-Help group (SHG) has emerged as one of the most important tools of socioeconomicdevelopment endeavors, particularly those aimed at women’s empowerment,livelihoods strengthening and poverty alleviation.Nidan started working in Kalyanpur Block of Samstipur district in Bihar with Plan partnership from February 2008. Initially, Nidan-Plan started working in only 12 communities but in 2009 we spread in 22 villages of Kalyanpur under Child Centred Community Development Approach and it depends on child sponsorship Programme.

Nidan’s intervention area is dominated by lower caste and economically backward people.  Majority of people belong to Hindu community.  Hindi and Maithili are the languages spoken by local people. People are engaged in agriculture as their prime occupation. Rice, wheat, Maize, vegetables etc. are grown in the farming land. Animal rearing and animal husbandry (Goats, cows, buffaloes etc.) is also a source of secondary income generation. They sell their animals or animal products and earn their livelihood.There are several small scale industries which include sugar factory near Magardahi Ghat, which has now been declared as a sick unit. People used to work as daily wage earners lost their jobs.Most of the farmers are landless tenants, they face difficulty in farming. People work as daily wage laborers, rickshaw pullers and do pety business. By, these engagements people find complexity in feasting the family as their income is small; because of these they remain trapped in vicious circle of poverty.The above mentioned villages, including other places of Samastipur district, are flood prone areas. Flood affects their life and livelihood. It is one of the major issues.Open-defecation is a major issue of the community, nearly 90% of the people defecate in open. People drink ground water from tube wells, hand pumps etc. which contain high level of iron. This contaminated water affects the health of the people.

Sustainability highlights:

1. Members are regularly saving money and use the savings for internal loaning among the members. The SHG- group manages the process of thrift and credit by itself. SHG as credit plus institutions have their own agenda, design, set of rules and regulations and have their own system of functioning. It is necessary to maintain certain books to keep track of membership, decisions and accounts.

2. Group leaders & members are aware about the minimum books of accounts and records to be maintained and their use.

3. The minimum books of accounts and records are available with the SHG.

4. The records are maintained regularly and up-to date.

5. All SHG-groups are monthly saving regularly in SHG- meeting on time.

6. Group decision is taken in get together.

7. Group leaders & members are aware of role & responsibilities.

8. All group leaders & members are trained on Leadership, SHG- norms, rules & regulation , financial literacy.

9. Documentation, Grading  of SHG, Group leaders are providing guidance for group activities, assisting in information sharing among group members, helping define problems and identify solutions, facilitating of group grading.
10. Encouraging members to offer ideas and opinions, resolving conflicts and disputes among group members, conducting meeting and facilitating group decisions, organizing, implementing and co-coordinating  group plans, facilitating financial transactions during group meetings maintaining and keeping books of accounts and bank accounts on behalf of the SHG group.

Nidan model SHG are comprise below characteristic.

  • Homogeneous membership
    No discrimination

There is no discrimination among members based on caste, religion or political affiliations.

Small membership

The group size is between10 –  15 , so that the members are participative in all activities of the SHG. In a smaller group, members get opportunity to speak openly and freely. However, the membership may not be too small that its financial transactions turn out to be insignificant.

Regular Attendance Total participation in regular group meetings lends strength to the effectiveness of SHGs.

•    Set of ByelawsThe SHG discuss and finalise a set of byelaws, indicating rules and regulations for the SHG’s functioning and also roles and responsibilities of members. It is better to have a written set of byelaws. The Self Help Promoting Institution (SHPI) and bank may guide the SHGs in this.

Thrift the habit of thrift (small savings) is fundamental in SHG and helps in building up a strong common fund.

Utilizing savings for loaningOnce an SHG has accumulated sizeable amount in the form of savings say for a period of about 3-6 months, the members is allowed to avail loans against their savings for emergent consumption and supplementary income generating credit needs.

SHG-Self Sustainability indicators  :The most important activities undertaken by the SHG are Savings and loaning;Major Livelihood activities engaged of SHG-members:

1.        For Poultry farm    13
2.        For Animal husbandry    427
3.        For goatary    42
4.        For Auto rickshaw    09
5.        For Agriculture –    1265
6.        For small business-    850
7.        For Fisher    46
8.        For chara    652
9.        For  Kirana shop    25
10.      For Land purchase    25
11.      For Seeds    125
Our 3831 SHG members engaged in different professions such that Kirana shops, art & craft, tailoring, bangle making, mason, preparing spices, animal husbandry, street vendors, fishery,poultry and agriculture.

Total Numbers of SHG = 347
Total No. of Active Members = 4558.
No. of age group (18-24) = 2929.
Financial Status
Approx. monthly saving = 4, 76,000
Total saving till date= 1,54,36,906
Approx. monthly inter loaning = 11, 00,000.
Total inter loaning till date = 3,47,79,538
Total outstanding till date =1,39,42,375
Total repayment till date =2,08,37,163
Total interest received    = 42,12,288


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