Self-Help Groups & Mutually Aided Cooperative Society

Self-Help Groups (SHGs) run by sanghams (community associations) have drastically changed the lives of the Dalits.

They used to pawn their possessions for meager amounts, but now every Dalit boasts savings. The sanghams started conducting awareness programs so that the poor were not duped and exploited by moneylenders. These sanghams have saved over 14 million rupees.

NASA has formed more than 3600 SHG groups consisting of 15 women in each group. NASA works to form sanghams while encouraging savings and giving an equal amount to the sangham’s seed finance fund. In the same manner, the government provides funds for self-sustainable programs for women’s groups under the Velugu (Light) scheme.

Mutually Aided Cooperative Society (MACS)
NASA has studied the successful Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and started a similar program called MACS (Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies). Under this program, Dalit women and other less privileged women get development funding.

Poverty is the main cause of sexual exploitation of women in rural areas and slums. Women go to the rich to borrow money. The rich then demand a high rate of interest or pressure them for sex. As a result, the number of illegitimate children is on the rise. To break this evil practice, NASA is establishing MACS to rescue the women from exploitation.

NASA has so far helped women to register 3 MACS groups and they are now able to lend money to their members. They are disbursing about 6 million rupees. The loans have served for a variety of purposes such as food security, healthcare and children’s education. The best use of these micro-loans is for setting up small enterprises. The names of the small enterprises are given here below.

  1. Vegetable Vending
  2. Fish Business
  3. Toys Selling
  4. Goats Diary
  5. Dry Fish Selling
  6. Recyclable Plastic Materials
  7. Small Kitchen Gardens
  8. Fruits Business
  9. Flowers, Garlands and Bouquet Selling
  10. Bamboo Baskets making
  11. Instant leaf plate making
  12. Door to door Clothes selling
  13. Tea stall
  14. Tanning business
  15. Palm fiber
  16. Rice business
  17. Shell lime Units
  18. Incense sticks making
  19. Candle Making
  20. Fruit Juice Point,
  21. Diary Milk
  22. Tailoring
  23. Photo lamination.