SSM always stressed on girl’s education. Babasaheb, The founder of SSM and the visionary always stressed, ” An educated woman always leads the home towards prosperity”. He was always keen in strengthening the village level informal people organisations. As he believed organization is power.
In the Nizam regime, the women in the area were dominated by men in all respects and fields even after 50 years of independence. They had no voice, or say in decision making at village level and in family either.
The women empowerment programme was started in 1991. With an aim to organize the rural women, Small self-help groups consisting of 10-15 women were formed. Presently there are 205 SHG consisting 2800 rural women in 25 villages. ‘Savitribai Phule Mahila Mandal’, an apex body of the SHGs has been working independently under the guidance of SSM. The Mandal organizes various programs such as health care, capacity building and entrepreneurship development.
The women in the group meet every monthly regularly. They discuss various social issues, problems. The women in the group collect a small amount monthly and deposit it in the Bank. They practice internal lending in the group. They maintain accounts proceedings and other necessary documents. S.S.M. supports the groups training programmes in various fields, conducting training programmes, arranging excursions and guiding them in starting income generation programmes.
The S.H.G.s have formed their apex body. Many SHGs have started small Income Generation Programs (IGP) supported by SSM or Banks. Their repayment is excellent. Now the women feel confident and responsible enough for disbursement of new loan, and its repayments.
Efforts are being made by SSM for the sustainability of the programme and care is being taken to focus equally on social issues along with economic. Some groups discuss panchayat Raj, education, I.G.P., social evils etc. The SHGs federation named ” Savitribai Phule Mahila Mandal” has now an independent registered entity and the women are working with confidence. The SHGs movement has spread well in the area.
SSM in association with karl Kubel Foundation , Germany , promoted on IGP at Sagroli. By involving the SHGs, the SSM constituted a revolving fund of Rs. 25 lakhs. Initially and issued loans on nominal interest to the potential beneficiaries among the SHGs for the self-employment purposes. The amount is recovered and reissued on a rotational method. Many unemployed youth are covered in this programme. At Sagroli a semi town saloons, autoreckshaws, Bakeries, Grocer’s shops, dairy animals, Goat/Sheep grooming, sewing machines, public telephone booths etc. are set up under this programme.