INDIA A federation of Self Help Groups (2011-2013)

Our objective is to men and women of Rajasthan conquer their self-sufficiency by founding a federation of Self Groups giving them access to professional training, employment and taking their voice to the authorities and their communities


Context: Rajasthan is one of the poorest states of India. Its economy is principally based on agriculture. The rural area of Amber Rock has 192 villages, its economy is essentially agricultural but drought becomes more and more problematic, affecting as a result farming production and household incomes.
The difficult financial situation of families, as well as male migration, intensifies discrimination against women, who stay at home. Household violence towards women and their children is on the increase (male alcoholism is a big problematic in some villages of intervention).
This situation is strengthened by other inequalities: in 15 villages targeted by the project, female illiteracy rate is about 20% against 45% for men.

Profitable families of the project

Area of project: India, Rajasthan, District of Jaipur, Amber Block, in 15 villages.

Duration : November 2011 to March 2013 

Objectives: to create the first federation of Self Groups (SHGs) of Rajasthan, giving men and women access to training, employment and therefore to take their voice contributing to their self-sufficiency and freedom.

Beneficiaries: 70 Self Groups organised in a federation of 828 women. 73 439 members, (40 114 men and 33 325 women) from the surrounding villages, are the indirect beneficiaries.

Conducted activities:
A pre-project of 3 months, supported by SOLIDARITÉ, enabled the introduction of the project in the villages and a study on the situation of the different SHGs of Amber Block area (145), leading to the selection of SHGs beneficiaries (on criteria of willingness and needs). The different activities of the project are:

  • Activity n°1: Raising Self Groups’ and their villages’ awareness of the existence of the project and explaining the usefulness of training and the role of JKSMS. The idea of informing and sensitizing, notably by the theatre of the oppressed, is the key element of the first year of the project which fosters men’s mobilization, willingness, and their acceptation and recognition of women’ and SGHs’ right and interest of self-governing work.
  • Activity n°2: The detailed survey of local needs and market research were conducted, in order to know the request, to evaluate what are the economic opportunities for women at local scale.
  • Activity n°3: Sensitization of villagers centred on gender, diverse discriminations and violence done towards women on one hand and, on the other hand, on women’s labour laws.

The forum theatre is still the core of sensitization with themes like: women roles in the society, need for training and respect for women labour.

Women of self hel group

Activity n°4: Basic training for women : reminder on SHGs’ role and functioning; work on different types of relative documents ; courses of literacy to learn reading, writing and counting; bank visit to understand better these partners and their functioning.



  • Activity n°5: SHGs members’ access to social protection.
  • Activity n°6: Visits and networking with the institutions linked to SHGs : Banks (SHGs’ accounts), NGOs, governmental institutions, etc.
  • Activity n°7: Management training for SHGs : to know how to use banks and micro credit organisations and how to spare troubles (against overindebtedness) ; Accountance / human resources ; Marketing ; Quality ; Fair trade ; Tax system, etc.
  • Activity n°8: Professional and technical training of SHGs: to develop and improve their expertise, train the group to use new machines, improve their knowledge on the market, train the group on packaging.
  • Activity n°9: Creation of the federation of SHGs: the federation’s goals are to insure SHGss’ durability at the end of the project through 4 activities: finding new market opportunities, providing training, linking SHGs to institutions, solving social issues met by SHGs’ members (household violence, discriminations…).

Expected results:
– The target population from the 15 villages is informed and sensitive about women employment rights, equality, gender discrimination and the interest of women labour and that of SHGs
– 70 SHGs led by women  get a strengthened ability to insure their activity and durability
– 828 women members of SHGs have their incomes and their household situation improved
– Thanks to the federation, SHGs have an umbrella which represents them, gathers and defends their interests.
Our local partner: JKSMS (Jan kala Sahitya Manch Sanshta)