Rajasthan is one of
the 'poor states' in India, with a per capita income below Rs
1,900. In terms of the extent of bankisation (i.e. No. of bank
branches per lakh population), the figure indicates an
unfavourable situation for the state. The number of scheduled
commercial bank offices per lakh population for the state is 6.6,
which is less than the national average of 6.9. In Rajasthan, more
than three-fourth workforce is cultivators and agricultural
labourers. Females constitute around two-thirds of the total
workforce. The male population in the rural areas is mainly
engaged in the agricultural sector and wage-based employment, both
farm and non-farm.
The women of the rural
areas are mostly 'marginal workers'. They remain unemployed during
non-agricultural/drought seasons. People migrate to the
neighbouring districts and states in search of work. The poor
people mortgage their properties and borrow money from the local
moneylenders. They fail to pay back the borrowed money within the
stipulated time and get into the debt trap. In some cases, people
work as bonded labour to payback their loan. The lack of financial
institutions in the near vicinity has worsened the situation.
People require money for household and emergency works. They look
for sources where they can easily get money with least paper work.
Moneylenders lend them money at higher interest rates.
Core Problems of
Bhilwara and Chittorgarh Districts:
on sex, class and caste while providing jobs;
Low awareness of
availability and benefits of services;
co-ordination between government departments;
Lack of livelihood
Lack of available
Lack of water
In this context,
Micro-financial Institutions (MFI), like Self Help Groups (SHGs),
would benefit people and help them to lend money for their
emergency works, without mortgaging their properties. As members
are the decision-makers and they have their own byelaws to run the
institution, the process will empower poor people.
CHD believes that SHG
is not only about lending money but a platform to deal with issues
like food security, health, education, housing and other
livelihood related matters. It is a platform to empower women and
give them the opportunity to participate in the decision-making
processes. The Centre has already successfully implemented an SHG
project with the support of the National Bank for Agriculture and
Rural Development (NABARD). Under the project, it has formed 200
SHGs in Mandalgarh and Banera blocks of Bhilwara district.