SeSTA believes that Self Help Groups can be an effective platform to empower women and help them resolve issues by reducing their vulnerability. It provides handholding support to these groups, starting their formation till they evolve as a socially and financially sustainable institutions.

Community Mobilization

Self Help Group (SHG) is a democratic institution owned and managed by women. It is an association of 10 to 20 women from similar socio-economic background and a voluntary effort to improve their economic and social wellbeing. These women meet weekly for savings and credit and to discuss well-being, livelihood, gender issues, rights, entitlements, etc and extend mutual support to address related issues. 

Once formed and active, these works as in interface for them to deal with the external world: village, panchayat, society, bank, and the government, in an effective manner. Not to mention that it becomes a medium for solidarity, enabling women empowerment by providing them the space and voice to negotiate and participate as equals, both within the family and in the society.

Reasons to promote SHGs

  • Organizes 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 or 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.

Community Cadre Development

In order to make the community self-reliant in a way that they can take informed decisions about their future on their own, it becomes vital to build a cadre of people from the community who would take responsibilities to ensure better living not only for themselves but also their village. Hence, SeSTA follows the grassroots engagement approach to groom a community based cadre and focuses on grooming women for the same. This cadre is not an extended arm of the SeSTA team, but is actually a pool of competent persons from the community who are accountable to and paid for by the community. SeSTA enhances the capabilities of this cadre and equips them with various skills. They are monitored and nested in the community institutions like SHGs, Village level organizations and Federations.

These cadres are supported by continuous trainings, evaluation, required exposure to emersion sites and with a monetary support for their service provided to the community.

The monetary support system is designed in a revenue-based model to make it self-sustaining and to bring ownership in the community later.


Community service provider


Krishi Sakhi

These CSPs are trained in agriculture practices. They are provided extensive training on the best practices, Integrated Disease and Pest management techniques, preparation of crop calendar, maintain records of expenses and income generated by the community members from the produces.

Pashu Sakhi

This group of cadres are trained in animal husbandry practices, they are provided training on vaccinations, identifying diseases, medicines to be used, feed management, housing management of the livestock. These sakhis are trained under the local veterinary department and works with proximity, during vaccination drives or any disease outburst

Gram Shakti

They have undergone a three-month app based financial inclusion course, in support of CRISIL foundation. These cadres are certified to work for the community to provide information, knowledge on financial matters, extending their support to bank linkage for loans, insurances, and other matters.

Adhikari Sakhi

They have undergone a three-month app based financial inclusion course, in support of CRISIL foundation. These cadres are certified to work for the community to provide information, knowledge on financial matters, extending their support to bank linkage for loans, insurances, and other matters.

Data Collector

A Digi-friendly cadre is selected and groomed to collect on field data of the Mahila Kishans SeSTA is engaged with. This cadre collects data through the SeSTA mobile application of livelihood activities, processes adopted, expenses made, area covered in farming and income generated