Source: E-mail dt. 7 December 2011
RURAL EMPOWERMENT & WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN
Dr. R. Karuppasamy M.Com., MBA. M.Phil., Ph.D
C. Arul Venkadesh MBA, PGDPM, (Ph.D)
Assistant Professor, Coimbatore Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore, India.
“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”
- Jawaharlal Nehru.
The emergence of women entrepreneurs and
their contribution to the national economy is quite visible in
The challenge faced by over 60% of children
SEPT. 11 has
left an indelible mark in human memory like no other event preceding it. The
world is rife with happenings of lesser magnitude. A quick look at news
headlines takes us to several hotspots around the world. Be it Middle East,
Eastern Europe, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa or
Let us look at
some facts and figures on poverty and illiteracy. More than 1.2 billion of the
world’s 6 billion people still live on less than $1 a day, the vast majority of
them in Africa and
“In some respects, conditions are worse than they were 10 years ago,” UN Secretary General Kofi Annan noted in a report released earlier this year.
Poverty is a worldwide phenomenon and no talk of economic development of a country or region would be sensible without devising effective ways to alleviate poverty at the lowest levels. And providing food, medicines and other necessities to poor families does have its importance but is not the effective way to banish poverty. The most effective way is the one in which the individual is taught the skills and given assistance to enable him to stand on his own two feet.
A very effective
way has been modeled by Dr. Md. Yunus in micro
financing of poorest of poor in
Illiteracy in some ways is more illusive than it
seems. Teaching of three R’s does not cover the purview of a sound education.
If a graduate degree holder is a suicide bomber, he is not educated properly.
Proper education entails basic education bolstered with moral, ethical
and human values. "Achieving truly
sustainable development means creating a world that is fit for children",
UNICEF's Executive Director Carol Bellamy said in her address at a plenary
session of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, recently concluded in
The population of school going children is ever increasing. The government setup has failed miserably to keep pace with the demand. Private schools have started everywhere to satisfy needs of parents looking to admit their children into good schools. It is commonly observed phenomenon that a private school next door to a government school has its rolls bulging in spite of higher fees and expenses. The teachers of government schools hate this scenario for obvious reasons, of course, and have coined the term “teaching shops” to describe private schools. Many private schools have been started by NGOs on a non-profit basis where the expenses are met primarily with fees and other charges and some donations. But most private schools started by individuals are for-profit. Some of the private schools have excellent academic standards, which justify their hefty fee structures. Others do make a living out of them. And there is nothing wrong with this scenario. At least children in these schools do get some education. The cost versus need equation is balanced by the parents seeking to enhance their child’s future.
The spate of
private college openings is not evident to that extent. In States where the
rules and regulations governing private college education are relatively
conducive, several NGO initiated institutions in medicine, engineering and
information technology have started. A recent development is opening of
coaching centers in all metropolitan cities and smaller towns. These centers
thoroughly coach high school students seeking admission to professional
institutes like medical, engineering,
An alternative to college and university education has lately developed as Open Universities. Distance education is imparted on prescribed curricula and students study on their own to appear in their examinations at specific centers. This is cost effective way to earn a degree and students enroll while pursuing their vocation. The element of classroom coaching is missing and the real knowledge gain is less than desirable.
Entrepreneurship Development of Rural Women Through Self Help Groups
Women comprise half of human resources they have been identified as key agents of
sustainable development and women’s equality is as central to a more hoslistic approach towards estabilizing new patterns and process of development that are sustainable. [Birendra Kumar Jha, 2009]. The contribution of women and their role in the family as well as in the economic development and social transformation are pivotal. Women constitute 90 per cent of total marginal workers of the country.
Rural women who are engaged in agriculture form 78 per cent of all women in regular work [Harendar Kumar, 2009]. Experience of NIRD action research projects reveal that, the operational aspects, such as the extent of enabling that goes into the community self help processes and sharpening the mind set of women. Men and the project administrators are low or critical components that determine their extent to which empowerment may or may not take place. The role of micro-credit is to, improve the socio and economic development of women and improve the status of women in households and communities. The micro entrepreneurships are strengthening the women empowerment and remove the gender inequalities. Self Help Group’s micro credit mechanism makes the members to involve in other community development activities. Now-a-days economic development is one of the factors that have changed the entire scenario of social and cultural environment within the country especially for the women. The rural women are engaged in small-scale entrepreneurship programme with the help of Self Help Groups. Through that they were economically empowered and attaining status in family and community Rural women play a vital role in farm and home system. She contributes substantially in the physical aspect of farming, livestock management, post harvest and allied activities. Her direct and indirect contribution at the farm and home level along with livestock management operation has not only help to save their assets but also led to increase the family income. She performs various farm, livestock, post harvest and allied activities and possesses skills and indigenous knowledge in these areas.
SHG is group of rural poor who have volunteered to organise themselves into a group for eradication of poverty of the members. They agree to save regularly and convert their savings into a Common Fund known as the Group corpus. The members of the group agree to use this common fund and such other funds that they may receive as a group through a common management. The group formation will keep in view the following broad guidelines.
Generally a self-help group may consist of 10 to 20 persons. However, in difficult areas like deserts, hills and areas with scattered and sparse population and in case of minor irrigation and disabled persons, this number may be from 5-20. The women were empowering themselves technically to cope with the changing times and productively using their free time and existing skills for setting and sustaining enterprises. They were engaged in starting individual or collective income generation Programme with the help of self-help group. This will not only generate income for them but also improve the decision-making capabilities that led to overall empowerment.
Women’s entrepreneurship is both about women’s position in society and about the role of entrepreneurship in the same society. Women entrepreneurs faced many obstacles specifically in market their product (including family responsibilities) that have to be overcome in order to give them access to the same opportunities as men. In addition, in some countries, women may experience obstacles with respect to holding property and entering contracts. Increased participation of women in the labour force is a prerequisite for improving the position of women in society and self-employed women. Particularly the entry of rural women in micro enterprises will be encouraged and aggravated. The rural women are having basic indigenous knowledge, skill, potential and resources to establish and manage enterprise. More over Formation and strengthening of rural women Entrepreneurs network must be encouraged. Women entrepreneur networks are major sources of knowledge about women’s entrepreneurship and they are increasingly recognized as a valuable tool for its development and promotion for the nation.
Kenneth H., John P. Carlos, and Alan Randolph. Empowerment Takes More than a
§ Wilkinson, A. 1998. Empowerment: theory and practice. Personnel Review. [online]. Vol. 27, No. 1, 40-56. Accessed February 16, 2004.
§ The perfect wife: strIdharmapaddhati (guide to the duties of women) by Tryambakayajvan (trans. Julia Leslie ), Penguin 1995 ISBN 0-14-043598-0.
§ Rural Empowerment : Through SHGs, NGOs & PRIs Y.T. Pawar S.B. Verma Deep & Deep Publications, 2009
§ Rural Empowerment: Indian and Global Initiatives Jaya Krishna S, Naveen Kumar Agarwal ICFAI publishers