Of late self-help groups (SHGs) have emerged as a vehicle of development and livelihood for poor resourceless communities. AES has formed several hundred SHGs through different projects (DPIP, NABARD, Tejaswini, SJSY, NULM etc.) all over its operational area and linked them with banks for loans and cash and credit. But linkage with banks for loans and CCL has always been a problem area. This is being addressed now in a systematic manner.
Merely making finance to SHGs is not sufficient to enable the SHG members to start up meaningful income generation activities. In view of this, the organisation provides training to the SHGs on livelihood development and marketing techniques. The idea is to develop an understanding among SHG members about right selection of activities in accordance with resources available in their respective villages and markets.
The organisation is providing training to SHGs in trades such as flour mill, various businesses, dairy, cosmetics, goat rearing, funnel making, mushroom production, tent house, grain trading, basket making, vegetable trading, poultry, sewing, brick manufacturing, deepening of wells, incense stick making, clothes trading, shoes trading, shuttering, cycle repairing, oil mill, masonry, etc. These training are being provided as a part of SJGSY and Entrepreneurship Development Centre. After successful completion of the training, the SHG members are also provided, as far as possible, equipment to carry out their business.
For AES, SHGs are not just an instrument of savings, credit and income generation. In fact they are vehicle of rural development, participatory planning and actions and use of available resources for increasing standard of living of the poor.
Tejaswini Rural Women Empowerment Program
With the association with M.P Mahila Vitta Avem Vikas Nigam, Bhopal, AES is running Tejaswini Rural Women Empowerment Program in Lalbarra and Waraseoni blocks of Balaghat district and Baldeogarh and Budera blocks of Tikamgarh district for institutional building, livelihood promotion, bank linkages, convergence with other department’s schemes along with overall socio political empowerment of rural women in the assigned areas, in which 847 Women Self Help Groups have been formed, nurtured and linked with livelihood activities. The program is also ensuring availability of microfinance services for developing their livelihood and entrepreneurship abilities.
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is an epoch-making scheme to provide 100 days’ employment to rural people. AES is creating awareness about the scheme through rallies, poster and pamphlet distribution, awareness campaigns, wall writing, rath yatra, etc. Meetings are regularly held with villagers to solve their NREGS related problems. Of late AES is activating and supporting NREGS Village Monitoring Committees in collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi Rajya Gramin Vikas Sansthan (SIRD), Jabalpur.
Agro Based Activity
Organization has formed 33 Krishak clubs at Waraseoni & 38 at Lalburra block in Balaghat district, associated to NABARD, Bhopal. Organization has been three Farmers Producer Company naming Vidhata Farmers Producer Company Ltd. Waraseoni, Tejaswini Farmers Producer Company Ltd. Lalbarra and Peetambara Agri Producer Company Ltd. Rampur Baghelan.
Organization has conducted training program on Turmeric Cultivation with 150 farmers at Waraseoni block of Balaghat district and Karkeli block of Umaria district with the association of Jila Panchayat Balaghat & Umaria. The objectives of the program are to provide training related to latest practice in turmeric cultivation, providing high quality seed (Rhizome), impart knowledge regarding proper fertilizers and creating awareness regarding marketing and various opportunities and make them aware with range of possibility in turmeric farming and way of marketing. So that they can evaluate the marketing trends and compete in the market.
Establishment of Rural Mart
Organization is working on the concept of Rural mart in Ramvan of Satna district. It has established 2 rural mart namely Maa Durga Rural Mart and Maa Gauri Rural Mart in the association with NABARD, Bhopal.
Identified 150 SHG members of mature SHG in Lalbarra block of Balaghat have been trained for Goat Rearing livelihood activity under Livelihood Enterprises Development Project.
For mature SHGs of Karkeli block of Umariya district, the organization has selected 150 SHG members who owned their land and agreed to cultivate drumstick (Munga) under Drumstick (Munga) Promotion Program. The organization has trained them and has prepared nursery & demo plot. To ensure selling of the product, the organization has made agreement to a seed supplier company.
The farmers who are members of SHGs have identified and encouraged them to collect their products for retail packaging. The organization has provided them rice grading machine, packaging machine. The unit has been established and they have started their business.
The organization has started this livelihood activity for SHG members of Lalbarra block of Balaghat district. All of them were growing vegetable for business purpose. But now they are trained to cultivate vegetable with collective and ecological approach.
A new concept of serving food to railway passengers has been launched by graceful support of IRCTC and NABARD Bhopal. Members of mature SHGs of Satna district who were already engage in cooking and eager to start this new job were identified and trained. The organization has supported to fulfil various formalities like as obtaining licence, GST etc. After training they have started their business successfully.
Organization has started Sanitary Napkin production unit, Garment making unit, Haldi cultivation and Masala Udyog for the members of mature SHGs of Balaghat district for business purpose.
Integrated Development Activities
Organization is working for Integrated Development of marginalized people especially SC/ST in 5 Panchayats including Marauha, Mataha, Richhahri, Gadha and Satri of Rampur Baghelan block of Satna district with the support of CASA, Bhopal.