Staff Reporter

Agatha Sangma to implement the model in North-Eastern States

Union Minister urges SHG women to participate in Saksharata Bharat programme

Says women in N-E region are backward and so she wants to learn from women in A.P.

NANDIGAM (MEDAK DISTRICT): Union Minister for State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma has said that the successful model of self-help groups (SHG) experiment being implemented in Andhra Pradesh will be replicated in the North-Eastern States beginning with Meghalaya, the Lok Sabha constituency being represented by her. She has expressed complete satisfaction over the performance of SHGs.

Ms. Agatha, along with the officials of the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), visited several villages in the Ramayampet mandal of Medak district on Saturday and interacted with members of the SHGs. She enquired about their success stories and asked them how becoming members of the group helped them economically.

Seeks help

“I came here to learn the functioning of SHGs and how the model can be implemented in our region.

“Though women there have all the hereditary rights on land, they are not yet formed as groups, which are instrumental in surging them ahead economically, socially or politically,'' she said asking them whether any of them was interested in going to Meghalaya to teach women how to run SHGs.

One Bhagyamma of Ambedkar Sangam came forward to go to Meghalaya to assist the Minister in the programme.

She said that they had availed a total loan of Rs. 5.75 lakh from banks and SERP which had made their lives better.

Better off

The women informed the Minister that they were in a financially better position now and could afford to send their children to school. Ms. Agatha urged the SHG members to become literate by participating in Saksharata Bharat programme aimed at educating women across the nation.

Later speaking to reporters, the Union Minister said that the women in their region were backward compared to the women in Andhra Pradesh and that was why she was here to learn things from them.

Asked about the water problems being faced in the district, which falls under her Ministry, Ms. Agatha said that the Union government was ready to extend financial assistance to solve the drinking water problem, adding that the issue was to be addressed by the State government.

Water crisis

The Union Minister said that the water crisis was prevalent across the globe and must be addressed by properly using surface and rain water and reducing the stress on groundwater.