HEMAVATHY NITHYANANDHAN, Mazoon University College, Sultanate of Oman
Purpose: Women community equals men community in population. In developing countries like India the status of women is low. The women are socially and economically invisible. The invisibility makes women to disqualify from formal employment opportunities due to lack of education and skills. In order to overcome this situation there is a need for the government to introduce such community development programmes like Micro Credit Self Help Groups (SHGs). This paper attempts to study the effect of SHGs in improving the economic status of women beneficiaries.
Methodology: This paper attempts to test the significance of the programme effect of SHGs by comparing levels income, expenditure and savings before and after three years of programme intervention based on a survey conducted in Chennai city. SHGs in Chennai functions under Mahalir Thittam, a state government programme by Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (TNCDW). Quantitative methodology is adopted using self-reporting method. A three stage stratified random sampling method has been followed for data collection. The impact of the study was measured as the difference in the economic indicators between pre and post-programme intervention. But the real impact can be measured when there is a comparison between the group with the programme intervention and without programme intervention. Further research can be carried out as mentioned above.
Findings: Credit is the major obstacle for women development. Providing financial sources through Micro Credit SHGs improved the economic status of the women. Thus the results of the study revealed that the level of income, expenditure and savings among the respondents showed positive changes. Originality/value: This research contributes in finding the program effectiveness of microcredit SHGs in development of women from the lower strata. The benefits attained through income generating activities resulted improving their economic status.
Research limitations, practical implications: The monitoring mechanism of the government to track NGOs need to be strengthen. Need to provide these women with a better entrepreneurial and skill development programmes to enhance their skills and capabilities to fetch higher earnings.
Keywords: Chennai; Mahalir Thittam; Self Help Groups; SHGs; Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women; TNCDW and Women.