Over 1.35 lakh new self-help groups (SHG) have been formed during the last four-and-half years of DMK government, Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the newly constructed Periyar Memorial Samathuvapuram in Kurichi village and various other development works at a function held at the Institute of Road and Transport Technology (IRTT) near here on Thursday. He also declared open the newly built auditorium at the IRTT and laid the foundation stone for 5,788 new development works to be carried out in the district at a cost of Rs. 81.52 crore.

Mr. Stalin said that the SHG movement had helped a large number of women in the State improve their socio-economic status. A number of programmes were being implemented in the State for the development of SHGs. The State had become a model for others in the country in the successful implementation of the SHG movement.

Currently, the State had over 4.48 lakh self-help groups, he said.

The Erode district, Mr. Stalin said, had 15,219 groups with more than 2.38 lakh members. Of them, 3,975 groups had been formed during the present DMK regime, he added.

He called upon the SHG members to utilise the funds provided to them to take up income generation activities thereby enhancing their quality of life.

Later, he distributed welfare assistance to the tune of Rs. 10.64 crore to 1,615 beneficiaries selected under various schemes.

Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare S. Gandhiselvan, Transport Minister K.N. Nehru, Collector R. Sudalaikannan, MLAs and senior officials were present.

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