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SHGs cautioned against their `exploitation'

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MAKING A POINT: Indira, Director of the International Centre of the University of Mysore, speaking at a workshop for representatives of self-help groups in Mysore on Wednesday.
MAKING A POINT: Indira, Director of the International Centre of the University of Mysore, speaking at a workshop for representatives of self-help groups in Mysore on Wednesday.

Staff Correspondent

`Women must not allow Government to push hidden agenda'

MYSORE: Indira, Director of the International Centre of the University of Mysore, on Wednesday told women representatives of self-help groups (SHGs) to be cautious on the intentions of the political system, which according to her, was trying to exploit the organised strength of SHGs to meet their ends.

Inaugurating a workshop for the representatives of SHGs, organised by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Research and Extension Centre, State Resource Centre here, she advised them against giving in to the vested interest of political system, which was keen on forming more and more SHGs. Expressing her apprehensions over the intentions behind the Government encouraging formation of SHGs, she cautioned that women should not allow the Government to push its "hidden agenda".

"The very purpose of forming SHGs is to empower women. But the political system, which will be always keen on making use of an organised system such as SHGs, will try to exploit them to meet its political goals. In view of this, it is necessary for women to take precautions against falling prey to the evil designs of the system to capitalise them," she said.

Suspecting the intentions of the Government in forming Stree Shakti SHGs, she said that on every given opportunity the Government would try to deny opportunities to women.

This attitude clearly indicated at the "anti-women" policies of the Government and made one to suspect its intention in forming such groups.

Women should not participate in any kind of activity, which would harm their self-esteem, she said.

Prof. Indira said that it was time for the concerned to create an atmosphere conducive for the SHGs to take active participation in social transformation and fight against the injustice being done to women. "It is also time for the SHGs to set social goals besides concentrating on savings," she added.

Criticising the way the children's census was being conducted, she said that volunteers were not prepared to consider women as also another head of the family. It was against such discrimination the SHGs should raise their voice, she added.

Coordinator of the State Resource Centre S. Tukaram said the SHGs were not there to protect political conventions, but to protect their own interests.

Director of the State Resource Centre Sudhamani and Director of Dr. Ambedkar Research Centre J. Somashekar were present.

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