To empower women Umeed has formed self-help groups (SHGs) under the Umeed Mahila Manch, each of which comprise 15 – 20 women from similar economic strata from the same village.
Umeed supports 411 women’s self-help groups, with over 5,000 members. The self-help groups have evolved as a viable alternative and a supplement to existing credit facilities. These are small, voluntary, economically homogeneous groups of women who share a single aim: they put savings into a common fund, which operate like mini banks, loaning money to group members at low interest rates following unanimous group decisions.
- Today, the corpus of community money has grown to over Rs. 15 million.
- Around -3000 members have availed of micro credit and established several flourishing community micro enterprises, including dairy activity, petty shops and book binding using the skills learnt at Umeed’s training centers.
- Nine new self-help groups, comprising 133 members, were formed in Sangrur and Dhuri in April, May and June. The total number of SHGs is 414, with 5,403 members, apart from the three male groups.