Reasons to promote SHGs
- Organise poor around their own resources
- Savings and credit is a livelihood intervention in itself. It smoothens consumption and finances existing livelihoods
- Prepares members for further livelihood options
- Mobilise finance from banks for livelihoods
- Reduces vulnerabilities
In order to stabilize the group processes and systems in SHGs, SeSTA conducts different types of trainings with women, centered on membership regulations, accounts, rights and entitlements, local governance, gender etc. so as to enhance their self-belief and capacities, both. Once the groups are established, it mobilizes the SHGs to form Village Level Organisations (VO) comprising of 10-15 SHGs from the same village or nearby villages. 2 to 3 members from each group are elected to participate in the cluster level meeting once in a month. The objective to have cluster meetings is to act as a pressure group uniting SHGs for addressing various issues related to atrocities on women, social evils, SHGs, health and governance. As the VO progresses women slowly start considering themselves as a part of a larger whole, a collective of SHGs, further boosting their confidence.
- Forum for peer learning, mutual support, monitoring and evaluation
- Integrating, interfacing and cross learning forum
- An opportunity to stay in touch with the groups
- Forum for cost sharing and building solidarity
SeSTA then forms a federation uniting all the SHGs within a block expressing solidarity and mobilizing collective action on social issues and financial intermediation. This also acts as an authentic platform to establish linkages with different institutions. Two members from each cluster are elected to represent the federation.
Above all, SeSTA helps link different tiers of collectives to the key stakeholders in the local area for strengthening the local governance and service delivery systems.
Sanghamitra Mahila Sangh, one such federation promoted by SeSTA, organizes annual congregation called "Mahadhiveshan" to bring harmony between different linguistic, religious, and ethnic groups. Financed, organized and managed by the federation, the mega meeting has members gathering, sharing their achievements, learning with their peers and planning for the future.