International Women's Day 2008
"Shaping Progress" - The Role of Women Self Help Groups in Shaping the
Progress of Manipur"
Organised by Responsenet An Aidmatrix Initiative
8 March 2008
Welfare Club Ground,
Awang Leikai, Imphal West District, Manipur.
Responsenet an AIDMATRIX
Initiative in collaboration with The Rural Women's and Children's
Development Welfare Association organized a community Based Capacity
Building for the Manipur Self Help Groups at Taobungkhok, Imphal - West,
Manipur, India on the awareness generation for Gender focussed progress through Self Help Groups
International Women's Day is
observed every year on March 8th by many Organizations, Communities
and Institutions to discuss about the women's empowerment, participation in
decision making, utilizing their knowledge and experience and making use of immense potential of women in communities .
This year's International Women's
Day was held on the theme, "Shaping
Progress". The Role of Women Self
Help Groups in Shaping the Progress of Manipur as the sub theme of the
International Women's Day Celebration organized by Responsenet An Aidmatrix
Initiative in Imphal West - Manipur, India.
In Manipur, a large section of
women are engaged in the household activities except for a few of them who are
employed or self employed. So, there is a need to capitalize the resources of the larger
populace of women in the society. The contribution of individual women towards
economic development is almost negligible and therfore the Women Self Help
Groups play a vital role in the economic development of the socie
Responsenet An Aidmatrix
Initiative had organized the Community Based Capacity Building for the Manipuri
Self Help Groups on The International Women's Day 8 March 2008. The workshop
was to strengthen the process of women's empowerment through the strategy of
Self Help Groups that is used to cover millions of poor women in the world and
link them with viable systems of credit and eventually provide a durable
strategy for poverty alleviation.
The objective of the Community
Based Capacity Building for the Manipuri Self Help Groups was to create
awareness amongst the community especially the women and spread awareness on how to establish
and promote Self Help Groups with the help of Government and other
stakeholders like financial institutes both NBFIs and Banks.
The Objectives of the gathering
Generate awareness on the guidelines for the formation and
registration of Women Self Help Group's
Highlight the requirements of skill & knowledge building
workshops for Women Self Help Group's in Manipur.
Identify the areas where skills and knowledge building is
Building awareness on partnerships with government, financial
institutions, banks and developmental organisation for accessing credit and
finance by Women Self Help Group's.
Provide insight on the problems of Market Place Linkages and
how women can play a major role in the Market Place Linkages.
Understand the Sustainability and the Financial Aspects of
Women Self Help Group's
The social role of Manipur Women Self Help Groups in the socio
economic condition of Manipur
Announcement of Responsenet Self Group Creation and its agenda
Responsenet Initiative of
Community Based Sensitisation and Capacity Building on International Women's
Day and its implementation:-
A concept note was prepared on the
seminar programme that was conducted at Taobungkhok Awang Leikai, Imphal West
District, Manipur. Role of Women, individuals and organisations were discussed
The ability to give financial
support to the Self Help Group's by Government or private sector banks and how
to run these Self Help Groups were discussed in detail keeping in mind the
duration and to generate the interest from the community participants.
Key Note Address:
Key Note Address of the workshop
was given by Mrs. Iswari Tongbram, Programmes Manager of Responsenet. She
emphasized on the theme of this year's International Women's Day is Shaping
Progress. She further said that the revolt towards development, empowerment of
women has started from 200 years back and therefore one of the focus of the
development is to be the development of Manipuri Women's Self Help Groups and
to uplift the living standard of Manipur Women.
1. K. Indramani, DGM, Manipur State Cooperative Bank:
Poverty is the
root of all evils. Economic scenario in Manipur is very dimming and therfore
Self Help Group's contribution in uplifting the rural standard is very
important. A person who runs his/her life with their own motivation, idea, and
production in the society is really appreciable. We need to strive for
betterment of the rural people. This people can be taught the methods of
production in an entrepreneurship model and bring a new look to them. He further
extended this financial support to Sapam Purnima Devi, Proprietor, S.P. Embroidery
which is a successful and a well known Self Employed Unit in the field of
2. Mr. Dominic Maring
The state of rural poverty continues to be a cause of great worry to
development planners. At the end of the 1970's, Integrated Rural Development
Programme (IRDP) was the only Self Employment Programme. Further, he said that
Self Help Group is a group of rural poor who have volunteered to organized
themselves into this group to eradicate the poverty of its members. These SHG's
evolve through for stages (i) Group formation (2) Group stabilization (3) Micro
Finance (4) Micro Enterprise Development.
Manipur, people think that Self Help Group's can be formed if we have 10-20
women and after the formation we shall get loan. If we do not get loan, members
are frustrated. Thus, the beautiful idea of Self Help Group's is lost.
Surprisingly, there are people who believe that Self Help Group's is formed to
mentioned that women in Manipur are talented and hard working by nature. Banks
and other financial institutions are ready to give loans if the group really
needs the financial support and to leverage the collective strength of the Self Help Group.
3. Kh. Yaiskul Singh, Senior Manager (ADM), Manipur Rural Bank
him, Self Help Group is a small homogenous and affinity group of rural poor
having a common perception of need. He mentioned that SHG's are of two kinds
(a) SHG under Swarnajayanti Gram
Sawarojgar Yojana (SGSY)
(b) SHG under NABARD Pilot project.
There are also
3 models of SHGs:
Formed, promoted by Banks, NGOs, MFIs and credit linkage made
by banks only in the NABARD pattern.
Formed, promoted and financed by NGOs/MCIs themselves in the
Formed, promoted and financed by NGOs/MFIs in the Bangladesh
Gramin Bank model.
stressed on loan repayment. For lending to group members at the initial stage,
the loan repayment period may be fixed from 6 month to 12/24 months. The
members of Self Help Group's must repay the loans regularly with accrued
interests. The growth and progress of a SHG is also dependent on the savings
and loan repayment habit of its members. By doing this, the bank may be able to
finance more members of the Self Help Group's.
4. Sapam Purnima Devi, Proprietor, SP
Embroidery, Sagolband Bijoy Govinda Thagapat Mapal, Imphal, Manipur.
Centre was established in the month of October 1997 and registered vide no.
14/006/1/100001/MICRO PART II. After receiving training in embroidery in the
2nd batch of women from District Industries Centre in 1981, she became
interested in making embroidery as her occupation.
graduation, she took up the occupation on her own. Later, She joined Model
Higher Secondary School, Govt.of Manipur as a Vocational Training Instructor
with the hope of teaching young students. But due to lack of infrastructure and
only ˝ students in the class, she found it difficult to invest her time waiting
from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Therefore, she resigned from the job wishing to start
her own enterprise. With the support of her niece and her newly married
sister-in-law finally started the enterprise. At that time, embroidery items
were in demand in Manipur for marriages and other important ceremonies. It was
difficult for just the 3 of them to meet with the demands of the customers.
While they were thinking of increasing the members of workers, they met North
Eastern Consultant Limited (NECON) and with their collaboration, they trained
20 people in embroidery. NECON sponsored all the expenditure of the training
and gave her the chance to select the students.
She selected 20
girls from the locality who were either academically or economically weak and
trained them and took her first step towards S.P Embroidery Centre. Out of
these 20 trainees, she selected 12 and started off this firm. In 1998, after
her marriage, she shifted the enterprise and with this S.P.Embroidery Centre
made a place for itself in the field of embroidery in Manipur.
Her husband who
is a skilled entrepreneurship taught her that entrepreneurship is not just following
the already existing trends but to explore new things and markets. He also
looks after the critical role of management of this firm. Beside this, he also
has helped the enterprise in improving the design and methods by repairing or
modernizing traditional and natural methods.
Due to lack of
machinery and congested work-shed; they were unable to provide free training to
economically weak girls as done earlier.
In future, S.P.
Embroidery aims at adding more machinery, train more interested people and fill
the demand gap in the market to bring development and prosperity in Manipur.
Guest of Honour - Kumari R.K Bedita Devi, Chairperson of Manipur
Social Welfare Advisory Board:
Without the leadership of a
woman, women cannot grow. There is always a need to give empowerment, support
to women to develop the society. In 1908, the first revolt by women started and
it followed up to this century. She further said that every woman is a leader
and she wishes to observe International Women's Day in a sustained meanginful way.
Chief Guest - Okram Lndhoni Devi, Hon'ble MLA Government of Manipur:
Women are bound by household
activities and chances of employment are less. Self Help Group's in Manipur are
focused to keep one engaged in bringing economic development and earning money
In Andhra.Pradesh, through SHGs,
Jaya bought a fridge and now runs a cold drink shop successfully. Educated
unemployed youths of Manipur are also successfully working and earning money
like S.P. Embroidery, Nighthibi Collections, etc. She expressed her opinion for
others to learn and do the same.
President - Kumari A .K Mirabai Devi, Chairperson of Manipur Social
Welfare Development Corporation:
International Women's Day is an
important day and therefore there is a need to encourage the celebration. The
Role of women is very vast - from household activities to the society and thus
women play a vital role in the society. She emphasized that after a lot of
struggle, women attained some rights and therefore its important to observe the
International Women's Day every year. She also said that now the Government has
started supporting several SHGs for the upliftment of India that gives the
women to wake up from the household activities.
Vote of thanks - Mr.Bhabeshwar Tongbram, Director Responsenet An
Babheshwar Tongbram, Director of
Responsenet An Aidmatrix Initiative thanked all the delegates, Self Help
Groups, volunteers, partner organizations and the women who
were present at the workshop for making the event a very meaningful and a
platform for the stakeholders to come together for the upliftment of the
Manipuri Women Self Help Groups.
Mr. Bhabeswar specially thanked
the Rural Women's and Children's Development Welfare Association, Taobungkhok
and Taobungkhok Welfare Club, for their encouragement & support in the
observation. From this observation, we see most of the participants would
strengthen the groups that are already formed and shall extend cooperation to
the women for their participation in organized sector.
Outcome of the workshop:
- Financial Support extended by Mr. K. Indramani Singh,
DGM, Manipur State Cooperative Bank, Imphal, to S.P. Embroidery for their
quality and successful work and also an employment generation centre
especially for women.
- Yumnam Huidrom Voluntary Organisation, Wangoi, has
extended the collaboration to Responsenet in organizing the International
Mother's Day and other upcoming programmes.
- Responsenet & S.P Embroidery look forward to
collectively work and enhance the already existing SHGs to get involved
more in micro finance loaning directly with the help of the Cooperative
Bank, NABARD, Rural Bank of Manipur and other Financial Institutions.