- As of today we have a host of poverty eradication programs and schemes implemented through a host of agencies reporting to various departments.
- Multiplicity of agencies undertaking multiplicity of programs aiming at more or less identical target groups leads to a lot of duplication and wastage of efforts. It also prevents focused and concerted efforts.
- Poverty Eradication programs require 'diagnostic approach' i.e. it should enable a person or household to get exactly what he wants, and every-thing he wants - in a reasonable time-frame - to generate sustainable livelihood.
- Rather than giving him several stand-alone benefits, spread across a long time-frame, he should be extended all the benefits that can pull him out of poverty in one single, concerted effort, in a very short time-frame. That alone will ensure synergy and bring real outcomes.
- The only way to achieve this goal is through Convergence of planning and implementation of all the programs and schemes. But this convergence would not be easy to start with, since there are several hierarchical structures that implement programs of different departments at state, district, taluka and village levels.
SELF HELP GROUPS / ORGANISATIONS OF THE POOR & LIVELIHOOD GENERATION:
- Self Help Group mode has been recognized all over the world as one of the most effective means of women empowerment, livelihood generation and poverty eradication.
- SHGs can act as very effective forums for not merely micro-finance and livelihood activities. Similarly, other organizations of the poor such as farmers groups, dairy mandalis or cooperatives create empowerment through common objectives, as well as to provide platforms for livelihood activities. Such groups can also act as effective forums for interventions on health, family planning, nutrition or literacy. These interventions can cumulatively raise the Human Development Index (HDI) of the State.
- One of the most effective means of convergence of poverty eradication programs is to dovetail and integrate them with SHGs or other organizations of the poor. This will ensure that all the poverty eradication and social welfare programs would reach out to the entire cross-section of people within the BPL and marginal APL category.
NEED FOR CONVERGENCE OF SHG/ LIVELIHOOD PROGRAMS:
- Today there are a host of agencies that promote SHGs under a host of programs and schemes. Rural Development Department itself promotes SHGs under Sakhi Mandal Yojana, SGSY, Watershed Program, Shram Yogi Yojana and several Special SGSY Projects implemented through NGOs. Urban Development Department implements SJSRY in urban areas through SHGs. Tribal Welfare Department has some programs implemented through SHGs. Women and Child Development Department had its own SHG schemes. NABARD and Banks create their own SHGs through NGOs. In addition NGOs themselves directly avail donor funds from international agencies and create and nurture their own SHGs.
- Similarly, today there are a host of livelihood programs implemented through a number of agencies. Rural Development Department itself undertakes programs like SGSY, Sakhi Mandal Yojana, Shram Yogi Yojana, IWMP, MGNREGS (individual beneficiary) and Special Projects implemented through NGOs.
- As a result there is so much of duplication of efforts, very often leading to one agency breaking existing SHGs to create new SHGs, identifying the same group of beneficiaries etc. thus affecting other agencies' works.
- What was required was a convergence platform for bringing all SHGs formed by several agencies under one umbrella frame-work. This would prevent duplication of work and thus maximize synergy. A mechanism centrally track all SHGs, create an online computerized database and real-time MIS, give each of them a unique ID code, help in linking with banks and eventually in linking them to livelihood programs would ensure effective efforts to bring rural poor out of poverty. It could coordinate between all stakeholders, including different Departments of Government, Government Agencies, Bankers, NGOs, MFIs, Insurance Companies and Corporate Houses.
- In view of all the above, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee Year celebration of Gujarat State, Hon. Chief Minister Shri. Narendra Modi launched an ambitious campaign by the name MISSION MANGALAM. The objective is to organize the poor into Self Help Groups/ other organizations of the poor, link them with banks, build capacities in them and lead them towards sustainable livelihoods.
- To implement this Mission a company was formed in April 2010 by the name Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company Limited (GLPC) and a budgetary provision of Rs. 95 Crores was made for 2010-11 for Mission Mangalam. The manpower for the GLPC was approved on 4th September, 2010.
- Simultaneously, in 2010 the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India launched the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) replacing the existing Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) implemented since 1998. NRLM would be working on a mission mode to organize the poor into Self Help Groups, build capacity in them, nurture them, link them with microfinance and eventually link them with sustainable livelihoods. The Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India has provided a budgetary outlay of Rs. 10,000 Crores for the remaining two years of this Plan period. Additionally, the World Bank would be supporting NRLM with an assistance of Rs. 5,000 Crores.
- Under NRLM, every State is required to form its own State Livelihood Mission and a dedicated structure to implement the mission at the state level. Mission Mangalam would be the State Livelihood Mission for Gujarat and GLPC would be its implementing agency.
- Mission Mangalam would adopt certain innovative state specific initiatives within the broader framework of NRLM.
- Mission Mangalam would follow a two-tier structure
- Mission Mangalam Advisory Council - Chaired by the Hon. Chief Minister. This would have Hon. Ministers of concerned departments, senior bankers, experts in this sector and leaders from corporate and business houses on its panel. It would be giving the broader policy direction and guidance to the Mission and would be meeting at least once in 6 months.
- Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company - the executive arm of the Mission Mangalam. GLPC would have a Chairman and a total of 12 directors on its Board of Directors. This would include the senior Secretaries of concerned departments, senior bankers and representative of industries and business houses apart from community organizations.
- 2. GLPC would have its offices at State level, District level, Taluka level and Cluster level. The State level office would have broadly 11 verticals reporting to the Managing Director. Each of these verticals would be headed by a General Manager and assisted by a State Project Manager. Efforts are being made to recruit very senior persons with experience in their respective domains at the State level. The 11 verticals are ---
- Social Mobilization and Institution Building
- Skill Training, Placement and Capacity Building
- Microfinance & Financial Inclusion
- MIS and IT system Management
- Livelihood Promotion Agriculture & Agro based sector
- Livelihood Promotion Animal Husbandry and Dairy Sector
- Livelihood Promotion Cottage Industries Service Sector
- Livelihood Promotion Horticulture
- Marketing Interventions
- H.R & Administration
- Accounting and Internal Financial Management
- The district level office of GLPC would be integrated with the DRDAs. District Development Officer would be the Chairperson of the District level Steering committee of Mission Mangalam / GLPC. Director, DRDAs would be directly supervising the functioning and the team would be placed within the DRDAs at the district level. The manpower structure at the district level would be as below â€“
- District Livelihood Manager
- Expert in Social Mobilization and Institutional Building
- Expert in Micro Finance and Financial Inclusion
- Expert in Agriculture & Dairy Sector
- Expert in Cottage Industries Services sector.
- Taluka Development Officer would be the Chairperson of Taluka level Steering Committee of Mission Mangalam / GLPC. The manpower structure of GLPC at Taluka level would be as under
- Taluka Livelihood Manager
- Assistant Taluka Livelihood Manager (Institution Building & Microfinance)
- Assistant Taluka Livelihood Manager (Livelihood Interventions)
- GLPC would have, in addition to all the above staff, field level workers to handhold the SHGs / collectives of the poor and work with them intensively. There would be one Cluster Level Worker per 100 SHGs or 8 villages whichever is lesser. This field level cadre would be recruited initially in 100 Talukas where Mission Mangalam would be launched in Phase I.
- Empower the Poor by Organizing them into SHGs/ Federations/other Collectives
- 250,000 Sakhi Mandals /SHGs to be formed / strengthened, covering 30 Lakh households, of which majority would be from within the BPL category.
- Follow a saturation approach by ensuring inclusion of at least one member of every rural BPL Household into SHGs.
- 20,000 Producer Groups to be formed covering 10 Lakh poor households to provide access to Agriculture, Livestock and Non-Farm Business and support services for income enhancement
- Reviving the existing co-operatives / industrial co-operatives by market driven approach through infusion of microfinance, skill up gradation, technology up gradation and market commitments.
- Form over 1,000 Cluster Federations followed by Taluka, District and State Federations of Sakhi Mandals / Producer Groups to create empowerment.
- Empower the poor through ensuring access to Financial Services
- Access to Banking - through no-frills accounts, in the name of the woman of the household
- Payment Services - NREGS wages, pensions and other social security schemes
- Remittances - from migrant family members
- Savings - once the above cash-flows stabilize and immediate consumption needs are taken care of
- Insurance on a group basis, for health and life, crop, livestock and assets
- Micro Credit - for consumption needs, contingency needs and swapping of costlier loans from non-formal banking sources
- Livelihood Credit - for income- generation activity, dove-tailing it with existing subsidy schemes of central and state governments.
- Augmenting existing livelihoods and enhancing incomes
- i. Enhancing productivity in
- agriculture through better inputs, agronomic practices and marketing
- horticulture through better nurseries, planting practices, processing and marketing
- livestock rearing through breed improvement, feeding practices, veterinary care, product processing and marketing
- Enabling younger people to acquire skills to graduate to Service Sector
- Diversifying from farm to non-farm sector in rural areas processing, manufacturing
- Explore livelihood opportunities through newer ventures in rural service sector
- Rural Service Sector has maximum potential for livelihood generation and profitability
- We need to graduate from the traditional low-input-low-output-low-risk-low-profitability ventures (like handicrafts, agarbatti making etc.) to low-input-high-output-low-risk-high-profitability ventures (catering services, event managements, mandap services, IEC assistance to government schemes etc.)
- Local Market Survey and Analysis should be done prior to the selection of the venture and the skill trainings so as to avoid the problems of Marketing
- Developing Inclusive Value Chains
- Develop Sub-sector clusters
- Agriculture Maize, Spices, Cotton, Soya-bean etc
- Livestock - Dairy, Poultry, Fisheries etc
- Non-farm sector Agro-processing, Handicrafts
- d) Services sector Hospitality, Retail trade and Rural Tourism
- Establishing Infrastructure and Market Linkages through partnerships with Industry/Trade, e.g.
- Cold storages, warehouses, market yards
- Input supply and agro-processing units
- Enabling BPL to participate in this through their SM/PG Federations
MULTIPLE STRATEGIES TO BE ADOPTED FOR LIVELIHOOD PROMOTION
Self Employment route under SGSY / NRLM / PMEGP / VBY
SGSY promotes self employment in the rural areas by providing assistance of financial assistance and capacity building to individual entrepreneurs and Self Help Groups formed under the scheme. The existing SGSY scheme is being transformed into NRLM which would have a demand driven funding pattern based on the state specific strategy. There are other schemes sponsored by the central government and state government promoting Self Employment such as PMEGP, Vajpayee Bankable Yojana, etc. implemented through Cottage Industries Department.
Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs)
To augment the self-employment interventions for the rural BPL beneficiaries, Government of India has initiated this program to conduct skill enhancement trainings. These institutes are managed by banks in each district and monitored and provided support by GLPC and DRDAs. A campaign to train 25,000 BPL beneficiaries by March 31st, 2011 has been undertaken by GLPC under this program and as of 28th February, 2011 we have already trained 29,966 beneficiaries under this campaign in.
Special Projects under SGSY / NRLM
These special projects are sponsored by Government of India under the SGSY scheme for facilitating and promotion of entrepreneurship, skill enhancement and employment opportunities for the rural BPL beneficiaries. NRLM also provides for Special Projects and this route would be explored to engage large number of SHGs.
Skill Development & Placement Programs
These programs are aimed at upgrading the skills of Rural BPL youth and women so as to provide skill development with guaranteed placement by the corporate houses. These are outcome based programs and the professional training agencies would be mandated to fulfill the minimum percentage of placements. The idea is to get at least one member of poor family engaged into non-farm sector activity.
Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)
This scheme is being sponsored by Government of India and aimed at empowering the women farmers in the rural areas of the country. This scheme also tries to address the issue of food security and reduction of drudgery from the life of woman farmers.
Innovative Livelihood Initiatives During Vibrant Gujarat Summit, 2011
One of the innovative approaches adopted under Mission Mangalam is to forge corporate-government ties in conceptualizing and implementing livelihood projects in rural areas of the State. GLPC would be positioning itself strategically to bridge the gap between the corporate sector and the collectives of the poor by facilitating mutually profitable business ventures.
The primary strength of this approach is the readily available manpower of about 25 Lakh members organized into approximately 200,000 Self Help Groups, popularly known locally as Sakhi Mandals, and spread across the entire state. The second strength is the credit mobilization potential of estimated Rs. 10,000 Crores by these Self Help Groups from Banks and Financial Institutions under various schemes and financial products.
Through multi-party MoUs involving Sakhi Mandal Federations, GLPC, Banks and the Promoting Institutions/Entrepreneurs, most of the capital investment can thus be mobilized in the name of Sakhi Mandals from Banks.
Only organizing skills, managerial skills and marketing skills would be called for from the Promoters. The promoting companies/entrepreneurs could do strategic BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING of labor-intensive tasks as job-works, which can be undertaken by Sakhi Mandals in their respective homes or villages as self-employment activities.
Livelihood projects can be undertaken in sectors like agriculture and allied services, animal husbandry, non-timber forest produces, textiles and apparels, manufacturing, packaging and assembly of products, rural micro-marketing, rural service sector, organic products etc.
Due to decentralized production systems, and the prospects of mobilizing the capital investment and working capital needs through credit by Self Help Groups through Bank financing, assisted with subsidies, the promoting companies could have substantial benefits of cost-cutting.
The role of GLPC in such ventures would be towards promotion and facilitation and ensuring safeguarding of the rights and interests of the poor. The investments thus envisaged and channelized through Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor's Summit - 2011, shall thus result into the development of rural areas and improve the Human Development Index in the state of Gujarat.
This initiative has got overwhelming response from some of the biggest industries and business houses in the country. 32 companies and 25 institutions have signed MoUs with GLPC during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, 2011.
It is estimated that these MoUs would trigger projects which would generate and augment livelihoods in the rural areas of Gujarat to the tune of 15 lakhs in the next 3-5 years. The total financial commitments to enable the above exceeded Rs. 21,000 Crores.