Impact of Micro-Finance on Economic Status of
Members of the Self-Help Groups

J. Murugesan1 and R. Ganapathi2

1Department of Commerce, Vidyasagar College of Arts and Science, Udumalpet,
Tirupur – 642126, (District), Tamil Nadu, India
2Directorate of Distance Education, Alagappa University, Karaikudi – 630 003, Tamil Nadu, India.
1E-mail: murugu_j@rediff.com, 2E-mail: meenaramganapathi@yahoo.co.in

Abstract

In olden days, Indian women were mainly rendering services to the family members, particularly to the husband and children. So, women were not allowed to go outside for earning income. In most areas they were not allowed even to go for higher education. India being a country, with 70% of its population belonging to rural sector, depends on agriculture and allied activities. It faces many problems to generate income to the rural mass. Due to climate, rainfall failure and some other reasons the farmers do not generate adequate income to meet their family needs and suffer a lot most of the time except during harvest. The villages strive hard to run their family and to satisfy their children’s requirements. Due to this reason, the women started to generate income. At present women contribute much for the development of all sectors of the country. Employment gives economic status to women. Economic status increases social status and thereby empowerment. By keeping this view all the governments try to improve the status of women in all possible ways. SHGs are considered as the main channel for generating income to the women in all areas particularly in rural and semi-urban areas. The growth of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) is evidence of the fact that women are coming out of their shells, shunning their secondary citizen status and are using their potentialities and talents for individual and societal benefits. Earlier SHGs were formed by the less educated womenfolk, but today even educated women are coming forward to form SHGs because of its various obvious benefits. In this context though the SHGs are improving the socio-economic status of women, a specific study is needed for every region because of its unique economic and cultural environment. Therefore, the present study has been carried out with 240 members of SHGs operating in Coimbatore District. Many interesting findings emerge from the present study. Relationship between many independent variables and the dependent variable are statistically tested and are interpreted so as to bring out useful inferences. One of the main findings is that lack of awareness and inability of the members to carry on the activities by themselves. Many practical suggestions have been given in the study for making this massive rural programme a success.