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Self-Help Groups of Women (SHGs)

One of our earliest initiatives was to catalyse the formation of self-help groups (SHGs). These are self- managed informal structures of women, living in one residential area.Members put in pre-decided small amounts of money, on a monthly basis and then use these savings to give loans, in times of need, to women in the group. A growing number of women have used these loans to start their own small businesses. 

At present we support over one hundred groups in Bhopkel and Chakan, totalling about 2200 members. The groups in Pimple Gurav and Kasarwadi now operate independently. To address the increasing number of loan requests, the women have formed a federation at Bhopkel. Some of the women from these groups have come together to start Samruddhi, their own credit cooperative society which has over 1500 members. 

Through this platform, we also provide training to members of the group, on a range of important issues such as finance, health and domestic laws and are impacting women at Kasarwadi, Bopkhel as well as Chakan villages. 

Our partner organisation for the SHG programme is Development Support Team.


 

Umang

Umang is a special group formed for the women in the community, who are in dire need of a regular source of income. These women are regularly provided with training in skills, such as making cloth bags, paper bags, greeting cards and photo frames. Additional support is provided for marketing their products. Today these women have found regular outlets for their handicrafts and thus earn a steady income. In addition, the group serves as a support mechanism for the women. We also provide them with counselling facilities.


 

Newspaper Bags Project

We started this project in 2014 for the women in the Kasarwadi and Chakan communities to promote the use of eco-friendly and bio-degradable newspaper bags in place of plastic bags. The objective of this project is to not only generate an income for the economically weaker section of society, making them self- reliant and confident, but also to contribute to a better environment.