Jaipur: The Government of Rajasthan, Centre for microFinance and Tata Trusts hosted the eighth edition of the Rajasthan Microfinance and Livelihoods Colloquium, a two-day event held every two years that seeks to bring together community, government, banks, NGOs and policy makers to take stock of the current status of the microfinance and livelihoods sector and deliberate on the way forward. The colloquium comprises two major events – Abhivyakti, a self-help group (SHG) leaders meet, and a Policy Makers and Practitioners Meet.
Held today at the Jawahar Kala Kendra in the city, Abhivyakti saw SHG leaders share their experiences, challenges, future plans through discussions and seek support from other stakeholders in running their institutions, namely SHGs, Village Organisations and Federations. The key objectives of Abhivyakti was to focus on consolidating the views and ideas of the SHG members, leaders, on the future steps that could enable the SHG federations in spearheading transformational change in rural Rajasthan.
A photo exhibition brought the curtains down on Abhivyakti, which showcased the transformational change brought about in the lives of women through their association with the Self-Help Groups and federations which include not only economic empowerment and poverty reduction but also increased respect in family, village and society, increased confidence and mobility and knowledge levels.
Abhivyakti also witnessed sub-group discussions of SHG, federation leaders and CRPs working across different themes. Panel discussion topics included self-management and sustainability of community-based microfinance institutions (SHG federations), scaling up and deepening of livelihood enhancement interventions for SHG members, and role of SHG federations in overall village development and implementation of local and state government programmes such NREGS, Skilling, SBM, digital literacy, maternal health & child nutrition. The discussions were summarized with a clear way forward which outlined the expected role of each stakeholder involved.
Shri. Rajendra Rathore, Hon’ble Minister of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Government of Rajasthan, was the Chief Guest at Abhivyakti. In the closing session, the SHG leaders shared with him the summary of discussions held during the day and key recommendations for strengthening SHG federations and promotion of rural livelihoods and enterprises.
Speaking at the event Shri. Rathore said, “I applaud the efforts of the women leaders and the contribution of SHGs in rural transformation and assure the women of all support from the state government in the self-help group programme”.
The colloquium provides a platform for sharing of national level best practices for adoption in Rajasthan and an opportunity for forging meaningful collaboration among stakeholders.
Mrs. Malika Srivastava, Executive Director of Centre for MicroFinance Centre - Tata Trusts, the co-organizer of the event along with the Rajasthan Grameen Aajeevika Vikas Parishad, said, “The microfinance initiatives under the Trusts’ Sakh Se Vikas initiative, have helped bring about financial empowerment for over 1.49 lakh women in some of the poorest regions of the states. The RGAVP which is now the lead agency for SHG programmes in the state of Rajasthan has reached out to over 9 lakh women across 174 blocks of the state. The CmF- Trusts and RGAVP are now working together on livelihood enhancement for the SHG members as well as integrating sanitation, digital literacy and health and nutrition interventions with the SHG platform to benefit large number of poor households. The SHG programme of Trusts and RGAVP have significantly altered the social order which is evident in the increased involvement of women in the decision-making process of the family.”
Abhivyakti will be followed by a one-day meet of key stakeholders in the policy and practice space, which will be held on 5th December 2017, at Jaipur. Policy makers and practitioners will come together and deliberate on the discussions and recommendations of the women leaders as shared during Abhivyakti as also experiences of other states, challenges and way ahead. The Rajasthan Microfinance Sector Report will also be released at this meet. Mr. Vinod Rai, ex CAG, Govt. of India will attend the event as the Chief Guest.
About Tata Trusts:
Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, Tata Trusts is amongst India’s oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations that work in several areas of community development. Since its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served. Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continue to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata and through his vision of proactive philanthropy; the Trusts catalyse societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation.
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