SHG women’s views sought on pension scheme

Thanksgiving gesture: Prashanti Zilla Samakhya president Susheelamma offering a sweet to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy during the community lunch in Anantapur on Saturday.  

Staff Reporter

State government proposes social security for women above 60 years belonging to thrift groups

State ready to spend any amount on Pavala Vaddi loans: YSR

Chief Minister lauds women SHGs at regional ‘Mahila Sadassu’

ANANTAPUR: The self-help movement of women in the State has been a sort of silent revolution that has been achieving women empowerment and fighting poverty, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has observed. The women SHGs in the State are role models not only for the country but to several other countries in the region, he noted.

Speaking to the representatives of village and mandal-level organisations of SHGs from Anantapur, Kurnool, Kadapa and Chittoor districts at the ‘Rayalaseema Pranteeya Mahila Sadhikarata Sadassu’ held here on Saturday, he said that every success story of progress of women involved in the movement was an ample proof of women empowerment and poverty alleviation.

Word of praise

“The confidence oozing among you (the women) is clear indication of your resilience to fight odds in life and come victorious in the fight against poverty”, Dr. Reddy said. The movement that had very minute beginning in Nellore district in 1992 and had gone a long way in the years that followed, thanks to the efficient district administration.

The Chief Minister also asked the women to discuss among themselves, the government’s plan of implementing social security pension scheme to every SHG woman after 60 years of age and state their viewpoint to the government.

State contribution

Depending on the age of the SHG members, they could get a pension from Rs. 500 to Rs. 5,000 per month with a daily contribution of Re. 1 with equal contribution by the State government. The scheme would help them to live with self esteem in their old age, like retired government employees, the Chief Minister explained.

The Congress government was committed to empower women by making them self-reliant. The government was also ready to spend any amount on Pavala Vaddi loans to SHGs.

The general perception was that the SHG movement was launched by the previous TDP government in the State, but the fact remained that it was introduced by the Congress government headed by N. Janardhan Reddy and it was adopted by the Centre immediately, the Chief Minister stated.

Grama Samakhyas

He complimented that village organisations (grama samakhyas) had transformed themselves into mobile banks by disbursing social security pension, giving loans to group members, ensuring bridge loans for construction of Indiramma houses, running dairies, procuring agriculture produce among other activities.

The Chief Minister also suggested that women make every village into a model habitat.

Banks were lending to groups in recognition of their financial and organisational discipline. High repayment rate had also made the banks less wary of lending to groups, the Chief Minister said.