The Foundation acknowledges self help groups as a meaningful way to empower women. The aim is not only to help women organize themselves and inculcate saving habits, but also to equip these groups to actively participate and contribute to the development of local communities.
Some of the salient features of SHGs under the foundation are as follows.
- Ownership of the group by the members
- Affinity as the base for coming together
- Opportunity for collective learning
- Forum for inter-agency dialogue and cooperation
- Cost effective credit delivery mechanism.
- To organise women and inculcate saving habits through formation of Self Help Groups
- To equip self help groups to actively participate and contribute to the development of local communities.
The Foundation facilitators contact women in the community and motivate and encourage them to form groups. They are provided adequate information about the procedures to be followed to form an SHG and the related programmes and schemes they can benefit from. GMRVF also facilitates trainings related to the various accounting systems and processes of a SHG to strengthen and help the group function better.
Foundation currently facilitates 80 SHGs through group processes, motivation, training, etc. at Rajam and Mangalore. These SHGs have managed to get loans of upwards of Rs. 20 lakhs. The SHG members are engaged in a variety of income generation activities, from petty shops to fast food joints to shell picking.
- There are good number of members, active participation, reasonable savings and enhanced group feeling across SHGs in all the locations.
- Various SHGs have borrowed loans and utilized them to start their own micro enterprises.
- In Mangalore GMRVF has formed an Apex Group named "Mahashakti Okkuta" for these SHGs, which has mobilized a fund of Rs.45, 000/-. This money is being lent on a group and individual basis to youth for business activities. The group holds regular monthly meetings and initiates income generation programmes. The group also monitors the working of SHGs, advises the members, conducts training programmes and supports new ventures.