KARNATAKA

SHGs have boosted the morale of women: expert

MAKING A POINT: Managing director of MYRADA Aloyshias Fernandez speaking at the inauguration function of the office building of MYRADA in Chitradurga on Wednesday.  

Staff Correspondent

`Teams from Nepal, Bangladesh trained in Chitradurga'

Chitradurga: Self-help groups are one of the best systems for the empowerment of women, particularly in developing countries, Heinz Peters, South Asian regional manager German Agro Action, a Germany-based NGO, said.

Mr. Peters was here to inaugurate the office building of MYRADA and the SHG Promoting Institutions' Network (SPIN). He told The Hindu that the scope for SHGs was nil in Communist nations. Teams from Kashmir had been trained in Chitradurga and had set up 25 SHGs in Kashmir. Even teams from Nepal and Bangladesh had received training here, he said.

Mr. Peters, who has paid several visits to Chitradurga, said the NGO had been working with MYRADA in the district. The SHGs have boosted the morale of women, he said. "I have seen a rapid change in the status of women here. Even 15 years ago, a woman speaking to a strange man, particularly a foreigner, was taboo but thanks to SHGs, today I see women coming out of the houses for their success."

Mr. Peters said the German NGO was constituted nearly 40 years ago with the objective to meet the food crises in undeveloped and developing nations. The campaign called "Freedom from hunger" had spread to 40 countries across the globe. In India, the NGO was active in Orissa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In Karnataka, the NGO had been promoting watershed development programmes.

Mr. Peters said since 2005, it had been working in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka to rehabilitate tsunami victims. He said compared to Sri Lanka and Indonesia, post-tsunami rehabilitation work in India was more satisfactory.

"India acted fast to help tsunami victims," he said. Mr. Peters said disaster management was very crucial. "I have seen the earthquake affected people of Kashmir, they are traumatised and not ready to move away from their collapsed houses," he said.

Campaign

Deputy Commissioner K. Amaranarayana said the district administration with the help of SHGs had launched a tax collection campaign. Speaking at the inauguration of constructed building office of MYRADA and SHG Promoting Institutions' Network (SPIN) here, he said that the drive had not only enhanced the government revenue but enabled women to earn some money. Managing director of MYRADA Aloshiyas Fernadeze said SHGs in Chitradurga were doing a commendable job. He said teams from Uttar Pradesh would soon visit Chitradurga to get training about the functioning of SHGs.

District coordinator of MYRADA P. Vijaykumar was present.