From rasoi to rozgaar, SHG workers kept the boat afloat

SHG, Self Help Groups

Soon after the government announced its first lockdown in March this year, the biggest worry for Veena KS, a farm labourer, was how to repay the loan of Rs 1.5 lakh borrowed by the self-help group run by her.

Veena and 10 other women, part of Siddapaji women self-help group, had borrowed the money for self-employment and household expenditure. While her team members had used the money for silkworm rearing, some for sheep rearing, Veena used the loan amount to pay school fees for her children. She used her daily wage earnings to repay the loans. The lockdown however came as a shock and the bank had strictly asked her not to delay the payment.

Within a month, the Taluk Panchayat office contacted the SHG and asked them if they would be interested in doing property assessment work for the village panchayat so that they could earn some money as part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission.

Veena and her team members were given a two-day training on measuring the property size and drawing up a tax assessment plan. For each property tax assessment done, they authorities paid Rs 50. The team had work for a month and completed 1700 houses in the surrounding. It helped them generate Rs 85,000 in quick time. Though the bank had given them a moratorium of three months, Veena and her team started to repay after the very first month. What she would have otherwise earned in three months, she got it one month.

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