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“Shaping Progress” - The Role of Women Self Help Groups
Responsenet An Aidmatrix Initiative

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2008 | 2:12:00 PM


The 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

Taobungkhok Welfare Club Ground,

Taobungkhok 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 were to:

i.                     Generate awareness on the guidelines for the formation and registration of Women Self Help Group's

ii.                   Highlight the requirements of skill & knowledge building workshops for Women Self Help Group's in Manipur.

iii.                  Identify the areas where skills and knowledge building is required

iv.                 Building awareness on partnerships with government, financial institutions, banks and developmental organisation for accessing credit and finance by Women Self Help Group's.

v.                   Provide insight on the problems of Market Place Linkages and how women can play a major role in the Market Place Linkages.

vi.                 Understand the Sustainability and the Financial Aspects of Women Self Help Group's

vii.                The social role of Manipur Women Self Help Groups in the socio economic condition of Manipur

viii.              Announcement of Responsenet Self Group Creation and its agenda (The Roadmap).


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 in details.

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.


Resource Persons:


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 Embroidery Work.


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.

Unluckily in 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 get loans.

He also 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


According to 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:

i.                    Formed, promoted by Banks, NGOs, MFIs and credit linkage made by banks only in the NABARD pattern.

ii.                   Formed, promoted and financed by NGOs/MCIs themselves in the NABARD pattern.

iii.                 Formed, promoted and financed by NGOs/MFIs in the Bangladesh Gramin Bank model.


He further 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.


SP Embroidery 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.


After finishing 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 for oneself.


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 Aidmatrix Initiative


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. 









Contact Information
Other Details
Responsenet An Aidmatrix Initiative
C'o Community Polytechnic, Govt. Polytechnic, Imphal West, Manipur, India
Tele: +91 385 2449569

Email k.angela@responsenet.org

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