Despite the chaos across the country due to demonetisation of Rs 500/1,000 notes, a small village in Madhya Pradesh’s Agar district has managed to tide over the crisis, courtesy the 18 self-help groups (SHGs) run by women.
Women in Chappariya, a model village adopted by Rajya Sabha MP Meghraj Jain under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, have turned their SHGs into exchange points, helping farmers and others swap old notes for new with ease.
The SHGs, which have enough funds, usually lend small amounts of money to villagers, especially housewives who meet their daily requirements.
“After a meeting, we decided to provide funds for our villagers as well as helping those who have money in large denominations,” explained Gopal Bairagi, community resource person (CRP) who looks after the bank-related work, including collection of funds from SHGs and depositing it in the bank.
The result: “The demonetisation did not have much impact on us and life went on as usual here,” said Munna Bai, 35, wife of Guman Singh and member of Bharat Mata Samuh.
Bairagi said all the SHGs are linked with the banks with a relieving fund of Rs 2.7 lakh and community investment fund of Rs 18.96 lakh.
“Most of the groups are actively functioning in village since April 30, 2010, with record of 100% loan recovery,” he said.
Located in Susner block of Agar district, Chappariya has a population of more than 1,700 people, who are either into farm or rearing cattle. Of the 841 women in the village, 285 are members of SHGs.
To become a SHG member, one has to pay Rs 50 per month. The money collected is used in a judicious manner. The groups deposit this sum to the Gram Unnayan Samiti and subsequently this money deposited to the bank.
“As housewives save their money to meet requirements at the time of emergency, villagers can apply for loan at minimal interest rate of 2% and they get it without any trouble,” he said.
Agar zilla parishad chief executive officer (CEO) Rajesh Shukla said,“It’s a perfect example how small savings can work in times of emergencies.”
MP Meghraj Jain said other villages should take inspiration from them. He also recalled how the village women had taken the lead to run the Nal Jal Yojana, a water distribution initiative using taps.
Jain’s PS, Purshottam Namdev said that after Chappariya, they had adopted another village, Dasoi in Mandsaur district and were planning to visit the village on Sunday.
SELF-HELP GROUPS TO THE RESCUE
All the SHGs in Chappariya are linked to banks
1729 Total number of people
486 Number of families
18 Number of SHGs in village
285 Total number of SHGs
Rs 2.7 lakh Reliving fund (Rs 15,000 each SHG)
Rs 9.2 lakh Total disbursement amount