RAJIV GANDHI MAHILA VIKAS PARIYOJNA(RGMVP) : A dedicated attempt

Published: 04th August 2010
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An important aspect of RGMVP's poverty reduction goals is to address social risks and build safety nets for the poor. While membership of the CIPs itself is the biggest safety net for the poor, risk mitigation measures have been instituted at several levels to ensure that the poor and the poorest of poor have a sense of security and can rely on safety nets in times of need.

At the basic level, the SHGs themselves serve to minimise social risk: close to 24,500 SHG members have savings worth Rs 94 million which considerable enhances security. At the next level, the Total Financial Inclusion strategy works to mitigate social risks by ensuring that high-cost interests and members have savings worth Rs 94 million which considerable enhances security. At the next level, the Total Financial Inclusion strategy works to mitigate social risks by ensuring that high-cost interests and dependence on money lenders are completely eliminated for the poor's lives and that their every need is addressed through the formal system. There is no restriction on the end use of the loan taken by an SHG member: it could be for healthcare, for a wedding in the family, a pilgrimage, a religious ceremony. The aim is to decrease the burden on the poor and reduce social risk by ensuring that they use only formal institutions for their needs rather than money lenders or other sources.

Food security has been addressed by VOs through Grain Banks. Every member brings a handful of grain to the VO meetings which is collected and from which poor members can 'borrow' rice and wheat for their needs so that no one goes hungry in the village. The grain is returned as and when the borrower is capable of paying back. In some interesting cases, VOs have started monthly grain pensions for the destitute while others have fixed a certain amount of grain to be given to pregnant women.

In many cases, the SHGs, VOs and BOs themselves have set up emergency funds which are used when a contingency arises. The spirit of cooperation and sharing is another effective safety net. In many cases when there is sickness or a disaster like fire, resources from several villages are pooled together to help the affected people overcome the ordeal. When an SHG is short of funds, two or three the SHGs come together to make up the shortage.

RGMVP studies have found that the poor spend a huge amount on healthcare, up to Rs 4,000 to 5,000 per family per year, money that the poor can ill afford. In this scenario, the Swasthya Sakhi programme serves as a safety net by creating awareness on healthcare and hygiene so that the poor can save this expenditure by adopting best practices of health and hygiene.

The NREGA committees at the VO level also effectively work as safety nets by ensuring that the poor are aware of NREGA and access their entitlement of 100 days of employment from the village pradhan.

Under the Social Risk Management initiative, the community has been sensitised to the need for insurance especially when the poor acquire assets such as cattle and livestock. In addition, 12,000 CIP members have been insured under the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana, aimed at financially enabling the artisans' community to access to the best of healthcare facilities in the country. This scheme covers not only the artisans but his wife and two children as well.

Also on the anvil is the initiation of a community-based health insurance scheme -- Micro Insurance Academy (MIA) recently conducted a two-day workshops in the project area. In collaboration with MIA, RGMVP plans to put a community-based micro health insurance scheme in place that will take into account the existing health supply, ongoing initiatives, and available subsidies so as to ensure that SHG members' welfare is maximised. The scheme is soon to be introduced in three blocks in the project area.



This article is posted by Press Brief.



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