What is a Self-Help Group?
Self-Help Group (SHG) is a small voluntary association of poor people, preferably from the same socio-economic background. They come together for the purpose of solving their common problems through self-help and mutual help. The SHG promotes small savings among its members. The savings are kept with a bank. This common fund is in the name of the SHG. Usually, the number of members in one SHG does not exceed twenty.
What are the objectives of Self-Help Groups ?
The SHGs comprise very poor people who do not have access to formal financial institutions. They act as the forum for the members to provide space and support to each other. It also enables the members to learn to cooperate and work in a group environment. The SHGs provide savings mechanism, which suits the needs of the members. It also provides a cost effective delivery mechanism for small credit to its members. The SHGs significantly contribute to the empowerment of poor women
Should SHG members comprise only poor people?
The SHG-bank linkage programme is targeted to reach the poorest sections, which are bypassed by the formal banking system. Therefore, it is essential that only the very poor be considered as the target group for the SHG -bank linkage programme.