Staff Reporter

RAMANATHAPURAM: The concept of self-help group movement had given self-reliance to the rural women, said S. Thangavelan, Minister for Slum Clearance.

Speaking at a function organised by the Tamil Nadu Women Development Corporation in connection with the International Women’s Day here on Saturday, he said that ever since the concept was introduced by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi about 20 years ago, the SHGs were doing well. The repayment of loan by SHGs to the bank was very good. Rural women, who were confined to houses, had undertaken some meaningful assignments that forced them to visit banks, attend meetings and meet people.

Mr. Thangavelan said that the overall contribution of women to the society had gone up owing to the women right struggles carried out by the Dravidan leaders, including E.V. Ramasamy, Anna and Karunanidhi. It was during the DMK rule that the law for ensuring equal rights to women in family landholdings was enacted. Moreover, thanks to the 33 percent reservation for women in local bodies, 50,614 women got representation in the local bodies.

Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar, who presided over the function, said that there were around 8,000 SHGs in the district. Around 1.62 lakh women had become members of them. M.S.K. Bhavani Rajendran, Member of Parliament,;T.K.S. Manimanthiri, Project Officer, Mahalir Thittam; Basheer, Chairman, Keelakarai Municipality; and Kalaimathi Raja, Union Chairman, Mandapam, participated. Earlier, the Minister distributed revolving funds to several self- help groups.