A life of dignity is the right of every citizen. Poverty is an obstruction to a dignified life. Self- employment is a significant step to have sustained incomes and remove the shackles of poverty. Earlier programme like IRDP were good but were not adequate to meet all the requirements. Government have now introduced an effective Self-Employment programme ‘Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar’, or SGSY.
Under the SGSY, assistance is given to the poor families living below the poverty line in rural areas for taking up self employment. The persons taking up Self-Employment are called swarozgaris. They may take up the activity either individually or in Groups, called the Self-Help Groups. For successful Self-Employment, it is necessary to take up the right activity. For this purpose, 4 to 5 activities are selected in each Block with the help of officials, non-officials and the Bankers. These are called ‘Key Activities’, and should be such that they give the Swarozgaris an income of Rs. 2000 per month, net of Bank loan repayment.
Quite often, in villages, people have skills. If any BPL person feel that he/she can gainfully take up any activity he/she should immediately approach the Sarpanch or the BDO or the Branch Manager of the nrarest Bank.
Effective Self-Employment not only means choosing the Right activity but also carrying out the activity in the Right manner. Self-Employment involves procurement of raw material.production, marketing of goods and dealing with finance. A single Swarozgari may not be able to do all this by himself/herself. It is therefore advisable for the Swarozgaris to form Groups – the Self-Help Groups. SGSY actively promotes Self-Help Groups.
Self-Help Group :
A Self- Help Group (SHG) may generally consist of 10-20 persons. However, in difficult areas like deserts, hills and areas with scattered and sparse population and in case of minor irrigation and disabled persons, this number may be from 5.20. The difficult areas have to be identified by the state level SGSY Committee.
Compositions of the Self-Help Group :
Generally all members of the Group should belong to families below the poverty. However, if necessary, a maximum of 20%, and in exceptional cases, where essencially required, upto a maximum of 30% of the members in a Group may be from families marginally above the poverty line, living continuosly with BPL families and if they are acceptable to BPL members of the Group. The APL members of Group will not be eligible for subsidy undetr the scheme and shall not become office bearers( Group leader, assistant group leader or treasurer ) of the group. The BPL families must actively particpate in the management and decision making which should not be entirely in the hands of APL families.
In case of disabled persons a group may compries of persons with diverse disabilities or group may comprise of both disabled and non-disabled persons below the poverty line.
Subsidy Norms for SHGs and Disabled persons :
Subsidy under the SGSY will be uniform at 30% of the project cost, subject to a maximum of Rs. 7500/-. In respect of SC/STs and disabled persons however, these will be 50% and Rs. 10,000/- respectively. For group of Swarozgaris (SHGs ), the subsidy would be 50% of the project cost subject to per capital subsidy of Rs. 10,000/- or monetary limit on subsidy for irrigation projects