SPECTRA formed SELF-HELP GROUPS ( SHG’s) in Alwar to creating sustainable livelihood for rural women
Alwar is a semi-arid region in Rajasthan that has suffered a water crisis owing to water depletion and a decrease in annual rainfall. Despite the fluctuating climatic condition in Rajasthan, agricultural activities have predominantly been practiced in rural areas, offering great opportunities for women to be employed. Studies have shown that Alwar is a region where gender inequality, sexual and gender-based violence is predominant. Due to these social vices, women are denied employment opportunities neither do they acquire land or assets. It has been shown that females constitute about (48.14%) half of the total population in Rajasthan, and they play a significant role in the state of the economy. Around 77% of total rural female workers and 18% of total urban female workers are employed as cultivators and agricultural laborers, where wages are minimum and working conditions are not conducive owing to poor climatic conditions. Rural women are mostly engaged in agriculture and allied works,causing them to easily fulfill their household responsibility. Due to increased urbanization, decreased farmland, and unprecedented climatic changes, marginal farmers are unable to generate income for their families through agriculture. SPECTRA in association with Letz Dream Foundation through Sustainable Livelihood development Program and integrated Livelihood Development Program (ILDP)” in Alwar District of Rajasthan brought a lot of interventions for SHG and their members. We formed 556 SHGs that profited 7320 beneficiaries. These SHGs were subjected to financial programmes, capacity-building sessions, and entrepreneurship activities. Financial activities like savings, inter-loan, and bank linkages were conducted through SHGs. Savings procured were used for the purchase of utility items, livelihood activities, medical expenses, and children’s education. About 94 households were linked to bank accounts as part of this financial scheme. A total of 303 training and capacity-building sessions were organized for SHGs on various themes such as group management, financial management, gender, leadership and business planning, agriculturelivestock, and goat farming. With the help of this training, members of SHGs have established businesses like goat farming, cosmetic shops, and confectionery shop. Alongside Institutional collaborations, camps, kitchen garden, Azolla unit, System of Rice Intensification (SRI), exposure visit, construction and renovation of Water Reserve, and awareness on covid19 were also conducted. Through these activities, the sustainability of SHG is being attained periodically with the help of activities embedded in the livelihood development scheme. Rural women are involved in all training organized by SPECTRA on group management, leadership development, financial management animal management, Azolla and vermicompost establishment, cornerstone,and entrepreneurship development. Through such activities, SHGs receive good profit and these profits are equally distributed among group members. SHG has brought a revolution in such Communities through self-dependence, self-resilience, and self-employment. SHGs are institutions that bring social change in rural areas and have achieved SDG goals like poverty elevation, quality education, sustainable communities, and gender equity. Rural Women establish themselves only depending on their willpower and leading to the empowerment of the women community.