**Khurda:** Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday exhorted Self Help Groups to be more self reliant and avail the beneficiary schemes of the Government effectively. At a meeting of Mission Shakti stakeholders in Khurda, Naveen said that the Government is committed to further strengthen the programme which has empowered women by organising them into Self Help Gorups.
Mission Shakti has now turned into a silent revolution transforming the lives of women, their families and the spaces they inhabit. Today, Odisha boasts of 70 lakh women orgnanised into 6 lakh SHGs.
SHGs are involved in diverse activities like making LED bulbs, running buses under Biju Gaon Gadi, supplying take home ration under the ICDS programme, electricity metre reading and civil construction.
All these SHGs started with small savings, many of them even contributing handfuls of rice to the group kitty. Today their business portfolios have been scaled up and they have investment profiles and turnover in lakhs. the annual credit off take is nearly Rs 2000 crore and their cumulative savings nearly Rs 5000 crore.
Recognising this feat, this year on January 5, Naveen announced an interest subvention scheme for SHGs called Mission Shakti Loans. Under this scheme the rate of interest on loans to SHGs was reduced to zero percent. Every SHG is eligible to take loans upto Rs 3 lakh at an effective zero percent interest rate. The difference is borne by State Government.
Recently, the Odisha Government announced the construction of Mission Shakti Gruhas in each of the 6798 Gram Panchayats under Ama Gaon Ama Bikash programme. More than 100 SHGs of Khurda district are being provided with work order of Mission Shakti Gruha. These houses will be used as meeting halls for SHGs and also as sales outlets for Mission Shakti products in the Panchayat Headquarters.
The following benefits have been distributed in Khurda district:
Seed money is an early investment by a SHG meant to generate enough fund to support collective income generating activities. To enhance credit worthiness of SHG members and to supplement the corpus, Mission Shakti is providing seed money of Rs 15,000 to each of the SHGs.
In 13 projects, 13,416 SHGs are being given Rs 20.12 crore under this programme. Across the state, 3 lakh SHGs have been supported with nearly Rs 450 crore.
To provide better access to technology and communication, an amount of Rs 3000 is being given to every SHG as financial assistance for digital empowerment. In 13 projects, 13,536 SHGs of Khurda have been provided with an assistance of Rs 4.06 crore under this programme.
Block Level Federations (BLF) promotes entrepreneurship and aggregate marketing among SHGs and develop the network of SHGs in the block. In Khurda, 13 BLFs are being provided with an assistance of Rs 3.25 crore.
This apart, the State Government has approved an incentive of Rs 500 and Rs 200 to Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers respectively on formation of new SHG. In 13 projects in Khurda, 2477 AWW and 2350 AWH have received this incentive amounting to Rs 77.87 lakh.
Across Odisha, AWWs and AWHs have been provided with an incentive amounting to Rs 20.09 crore under this scheme.