States

Women SHGs in the forefront of battle against COVID-19

Pitching in: A women’s self-help group member displays their output.  

From manufacturing over nine lakh masks to introducing digital ATM service in remote villages through trained workers, Mahila Arthik Vikas Mamandal (MAVIM) and over one lakh women self-help groups (SHGs) working under it are playing a crucial role in fighting the economic and social impact of the novel coronavirus in rural Maharashtra.

In addition, these women, responding to an appeal made by MAVIM to donate only ₹1 from their own income, contributed ₹11.35 lakh on Tuesday to the Chief Minister’s relief fund for the battle against COVID-19.

According to Jyoti Thakre, president, MAVIM, the SHGs are working at different levels. “From production and distribution of face masks and hand wash to giving away foodgrain to the needy, and making provision of cooked food to migrant workers, these women are helping the State in every possible way in these testing times,” she said.

Ms. Thakre also talked about MAVIM’s initiative to train women volunteers as ATM sakhis (friends) to introduce digital ATM service in remote areas. “We started the service in Gondia village. They are called ATM sakhis and they visit the village where women can use their help to withdraw money from the bank, deposit money, or even recharge phones,” she said.

As per data, the women SHGs have produced over nine lakh masks till now and they are being distributed to poor vulnerable citizens and front line workers such as police, aanganwadi and ASHA workers.

A total of 32,410 beneficiaries have been provided foodgrain (wheat, rice and pulses) by these women through collection from their own stocks and donations.

“Since the economic activity has halted and migrant workers are held up in various places, provision of cooked food has become an essential service. The SHGs are distributing food to 56,906 beneficiaries under the shivbhojan scheme in 12 districts,” Ms. Thakre said.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 4:17:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/states/women-shgs-in-the-forefront-of-battle-against-covid-19/article31401332.ece

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