Statesman News Service
HALDIA, Jan. 31. — Self-independence is the key to the attainment of equality by women in society. The activities of self help groups (SHGs) working with centre and state government schemes and grants have definitely redirected the path of women’s liberation in the state as well as in the country.
A seminar titled “West Bengal Government and Self Help Groups” was held at the Anandamela arena of Haldia Utsab. Representatives of SHGs from all over the district have gathered at the seminar.
The chairperson of the Paschim Banga Ganatantrik Mahila Samiti, Shyamali Gupta, said: “Through the activities of SHGs, women of rural areas are establishing themselves in their families as well as in society. Domestic violence has been checked to a great extent. Self-independence mixed with the social responsibility of women in the SHGs have aided social development.”
East Midnapore has the second highest number of SHGs in the state. There are 12514 such groups in the district. The women of the SHGs have saved Rs 10 crore in the Mahila Gramin Bikash Bank, which is first of its kind in the state.
Mr Barun Dasgupta, Joint Secretary, State Panchayat & Rural Development department said: “There are 2.5 lakhs SHGs in the state. Out of these, 1 lakh 40 thousand are covered under the Swarnajayanti Gramin Rojgar Yojna. We are trying to bring more groups under different government schemes.”
Mr Lakhsman Seth, MP, Tamluk, commented: “To maintain a family well, rural women must become self-sustaining. This is possible through SHGs.”