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|September 15, 1998||
World Bank to extend loan for rural women project
The World Bank has signed a $ 19.5 million credit to the Indian government for a ''rural women's development and empowerment project'' for improving the conditions of rural women in six states.
The credit is provided by the international development agency, the World Bank's concessionary lending affiliate.
WB's India director, Edwin Lee and additional secretary in the department of economic affairs V Govindarajan along with representatives from six state government signed the agreement.
The states where project is to be implemented are Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The project's aim is to empower poor rural women through self- help groups aimed at increasing control over resources, developing income generating scheme, improving management and technical skills, and gaining access to credit and social services.
According to World Bank sources, the target group for the project is women from rural households below the poverty line. The group will largely comprise women from marginal and small farm households and landless families. An estimated 130,000 women are to directly benefit from the project.
The sources said the most important social innovation to help the poor in recent years has been the success of self help groups or SHGs, especially those formed by women. These groups, assisted by non-government organisations, have successfully developed a system of revolving credit for the benefit of group members based on their own savings.
Linking of SHGs to formal financial institutions has further enhanced availability of microcredit financing of the groups. SHGs have successfully maintained a high rate of loan repayments and successfully generated additional income, jobs and small enterprises for their members.
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