Micro Finance An Effective Tool for Rural Women Empowerment
Women empowerment has become a catchword today and has got a significantplace in socio-economic development programs of the government. Microfinance is theprovision of sustainable financial services to low-income people. The Micro-creditsummit held in Washington D.C. in 1997 defined micro-credit programs as those that„extend small loans to poor for self employment projects that generate income, allowingthem to care for themselves and their families‟.
The objectives of this research paper were to take a brief review of the role ofMicro-finance in the empowerment of rural women, to examine the perception andattitude of women towards Micro-finance through Self Help Groups, to examine therole and effectiveness of SHGs in improving socio-economic status of rural women andto identify the problems of SHGs in empowering rural women and to make suggestivemeasures for the future.
The present study is an empirical and analytical investigation based on primarydata collected through well designed questionnaires and personal interviews of therespondents. It consist 150 sample beneficiaries of SHG members from 10 villages ofKhultabad and Gangapur Taluka of Aurangabad District from Maharashtra, India. 15respondents from each village were selected as samples, which forms the total samplesize of the study. The data collected from them through various sources has beenprocessed and analyzed by using percentage and common size statement.
The major findings includes– Micro-finance is playing vital role in empoweringthe rural women. Out of the 150 sample beneficiaries, 98 beneficiaries has started theirown small business. 28 beneficiaries are working in a group to sell the Dairy products,like – Milk, Curd, Pure Ghee, etc. and remaining 24 beneficiaries, as an SHG member,has taken the micro finance for agricultural purpose to cultivate their own land. This allindicates an effective role of Micro-finance in empowering rural women.
Key words: SHG, Micro-credit, Women Empowerment, Micro-fund
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