Here’s are few useful facts about the economic activities of Small Help Groups

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Points to be remembered while selecting economic activities

(1) Any income generating programme for SHG, should be based on traditional knowledge/skills and aspirations of the group members.

(2) Traditional handloom and handicraft and existing artisan activities in a locality may be more successful than taking up altogether new activities.

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(3) The groups may be encouraged to adhere to the quality norms and diversify their product range.

(4) The raw material required for the selected activity should be available locally or can be transported to the work site at a low cost.

(5) Those activities should be chosen which require modest investment to begin with.

(6) Simple and labour saving technologies may be introduced to facilitate SHGs work. For instance, if an SHG is engaged in rope making activity, the arduous task of beating the fibre manually may be substituted with some easy to use mechanical devices.

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(7) Selected activities should be such that these can be pursued at home or at the village. Moreover, existing workload and availability of time must be considered carefully. There is no need to move into factory type production.

(8) Persons working in isolation due to certain social and cultural factors should be encouraged to form organizations like SHGs and helped to take up economic activities so as to realize the value of their labour at non-exploitative rates.

(9) The selected activities should be as far as possible, have small gestation period and can provide immediate and perennial income.

(10) Training and other technical inputs should be easily available for the selected activities. However, if needed, training and skill development for members should be designed to make the members more productive and profitable.

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(11) When the activity selected is nontraditional in nature, it may be difficult to find a local market for the products. In such circumstances it may be necessary to localise such activities by way of increasing the number of groups carrying out such non- traditional activities in the same area so that the total production in a given area can be increased. This will help in finding the outside market for the products.

(12) Programmes designed for members should be based on the concept of self-help and sustainability. The dependency syndrome i.e. awaiting governmental or other assistance for everything will make all these programmes short-lived and eventually dormant.

(13) While planning the activities, care should be taken to meet the infrastructure requirements such as worksheds and godowns etc.

(14) Child care should be planned along with group formation. Members of the group can take turns in looking after children. Even child care can be taken up by on* member of the group as an activity.

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