Women Empowerment And Livelihood Programme In Mid Gangetic Plains – ‘Priyadarshini’

The Ministry Of Women and Child Development is administering International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assisted pilot project namely Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme in the Mid Gangetic Plains in 13 blocks spread over 5 districts in Uttar Pradesh and 2 districts in Bihar. The Programme aims at holistic empowerment (economic and social) of vulnerable groups of women and adolescent girls in the project area through formation of women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) and promot ion of improved l ive l ihood opportunities. Over 1,00,000 households are to be covered under the project and 7,200 SHGs will be formed during the project period ending 2016-17.Though the focus of project is on livelihood enhancement, the beneficiaries will be empowered to address their, political, legal and health problem issues through rigorous capacity building.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the lead programme agency for the implementation through engagement of Resource NGOs and Field NGOs (FNGOs). FNGOs are envisaged to carry out all field level activities, whereas a Resource NGO (RNGO) has been envisioned to undertake activities relating to specialized capacity building and provide other technical support to all field level project functionaries to ensure effective implementation of the programme. The programme envisages giving training to the SHG members on topics such as income generation and allied activities, marketing of products and social issues etc.

During the financial year 2010 – 11, all preparatory activities necessary to launch field level implementation were completed, which included selection of 13 blocks in seven project districts, setting up of programme management structures such as, Central Programme Support Unit (CPSU) at the Ministry, National Programme Coordination Unit (NPCU) at NABARD headquarter and State Programme Monitoring Units (SPMUs) at NABARD offices in Patna and Lucknow respectively, deployment of district level project staff through establishment of Project Implementation Units (PIUs) and preparation of a Programme Implementation Manual (PIM). Besides, selection of Resource NGOs and Field NGOs was also completed. Finally, project was rolled out in the field through a Start – up Workshop for both States in April, 2011. Since April, 2011, Priyadarshini has made following progresses:

A. Progress in SHG mobilization

i.  1571 SHGs have been promoted, of which 858 SHGs are in Bihar and 713 in Uttar Pradesh.

ii.  Of the above 1571 SHGs, 263 have been savings linked – 246 in Uttar Pradesh and 17 in Bihar.

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