After restructuring of the Panchayat Level Federation (PLF) of the women self help groups, the PLF has assumed the role hitherto played by the non government organisations (NGOs) in helping SHGs access credit, said M.Chandrasekaran, Collector, at Thirurameswaram panchayat in Mannargudi taluk in Tiruvarur district on Sunday.

Reviewing the performance of the PLF, Mr.Chandrasekaran said PLF now has a general body, executive committee, a secretary and a president.A sum of Rs. 21 lakh has been allotted by the banks to Thirurameswaram PLF and it has been disbursed among 26 women SHGs for various purposes.

Nadiammal, secretary of the PLF said the sum has been disbursed at the rate of Rs.50,000 to 10 groups and Rs.1 lakh to 16 groups.

Besides purchasing and leasing lands for cultivation, the amount was used by the SHGs for giving education loans to members, purchase of milch animals and taking up other trades. Some groups have purchased 108 acres of land and some groups have taken 203 acres of land on lease and started cultivation.

The collector appealed to the SHG members to take to social service, besides their own empowerment. “You should launch a campaign against drinking, say no to tobacco and should not use plastic objects,” he said.

Yet another interesting feature in the village was the formation of Children's Parliament by the children of the village. School going children of the village have formed a children parliament with 51 members. There are twenty ministers also in the group. S.Ilamaran, who has taken the role of the Prime minister, introduced his ministers K.Hari (finance), Abhinaya (environment), Jennifer (health) to the collector.

He said the parliament used to meet every Saturday and discuss about issues that need attention in the village. Solution to them will be jotted down by the ministers and conveyed to the village panchayat president and secretary of the PLF. "We have decided to plant saplings on road sides, run a tuition centre to teach children and save money" they said.

Special gram sabha for approving beneficiaries for conversion of huts into concrete houses was also held in the village on Sunday. K.Sivanandam, president of the panchayat presided over the meeting. He said that 61 huts will be converted into concrete houses in 14 panchayats in the area this year.