Monday, February 2, 2015

SEVAI/OFI/SG-Watershed for poor through Thottiyapatty women self help groups.

Thottiyapatty Watershed women  members with their bank account books

The SEVAI/OFI/SG operates in a Thottiyapatty Women self help group participatory approach. It emphasises participation of watershed users in planning, decision making and implementation of the programme. Participatory rural appraisals (PRA) are used throughout the stages of planning and selection of watersheds. Awareness and training sessions and programmes on literacy, family welfare, social services, income generating activities etc. are also undertaken in the villages. Contributions to SHGs are encouraged. The Watershed Self Help Groups (SHGs) looks after the development of various village level institutions such as User Groups ensuring that a participatory model is adhered to. It comprises at least 10 members including panchayat members; The Self Help Groups (SHGs) ensure participatory implementation of the watershed programme. The Self Help Groups (SHGs) identify the requirements of a given area and finalises the activities to be undertaken in a participatory approach based on the village level assessment. The members are responsible for coordination and liaison with all government agencies to ensure smooth implementation of the project. The Self Help Groups (SHGs) carries out day-to-day activities and implements decisions taken by all the elected bodies. It facilitates agreements pertaining to the use of resources by various User Groups as a pre-condition for any activity. This collective
decision making promotes environment regeneration and poverty alleviation in an equitable manner. SEVAI has adopted the self help group as the appropriate people's institution which provides the poor with the space and support necessary to take effective steps towards greater control of their lives in private and in society. The SHGs provide the benefits of economies of scale reducing costs in certain areas of the production process which the members may decide to undertake as a common action. The group also provides a cost effective credit delivery system, as the transaction costs of lending decrease sharply both to the banks and the borrowers. The groups provide a forum for collective learning which rural people find more "friendly" and which is consequently more effective than the individual or classroom approach that is commonly adopted. The groups promote a democratic culture and provide the members with opportunities to imbibe norms of behaviour that are based on mutual respect. The groups provide the individual member with the support required to exercise control over the pace, timing, size and schedules of loans and programmes, to broaden the pattern of asset provision to include a package which would help the individual to cover risk rather than to provide a single asset; it also helps to assess the individual member's management capacity which may fall short of what a "viable" investment package requires for optimum returns.-Govin

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