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Formation of Clusters of SHG at Kapdvanj

By Fr. Mayank Parmar sdb
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Mumbai, Dec. 15. DRISTI Don Bosco has been working in Kapadvanj for the last six years for the empowerment of women. Ninety Self Help Groups have been formed in the area.  This year DRISTI has taken these self help groups to its second stage with the formation of Clusters. Looking at the possibilities and the area we have been working in, eight clusters have been formed of these ninety groups.
The main objectives of these clusters are:  (1) To strengthen the weak SHGs, (2) To monitor the SHGs of its clusters,  (3) To help women to avail of bigger loans, (3) To help SHGs to start income generation activities.

The idea fo froming Clusters had been floated in the villages for the last six months. At first the women couldn't understand fully the importance of Clusters, but gradually agreed to their formation. Thus this year DRISTI made it one of their organizational objectives to form eight clusters according to the area or the number of SHGs. The cluster is represented by two representatives from each cluster. The financial part is being seen to by the SHGs. In order to be part of Cluster a membership fees of Rs. 20.00 are charged and deposited in the name of the cluster itself.

So far five cluster meetings have been held in the month of November 2012 at Ratnagar, Chaptiya, Bapuji Na Muvada, Gadiyara, and Kasarij for the respective clusters. These meetings had very positive impact on women as well as the villagers themselves. They were enthused with new ideas. They were also happy with SHGs being monitored by these clusters and had no problem with cluster intervention. The women were of the opinion that this will also unite the village and certain income generation activities could be run by the clusters.

A common meeting at the DRISTI centre of all the Clusters will be held very soon.
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