Ukhrul SHG Sets New Benchmark, New Goals

IMPHAL, Mar 4: For a group of women in an Ukhrul district hamlet, economic emancipation and breaking away from the traditional toil at the fields is the driving force to come together and contribute their mite towards socio-economic transformation of the society.

Revered for their hard working nature and care for the family, some Tangkhul womenfolk of Hungpung Kazipphung village in Ukhrul sub-division took the lead in demonstrating that even without Government patronage not only could they supplement their own family income but also extend help to others.

Keeping faith in meeting challenges at various phases of life through co-operation and close coordination in this semi-urban location, a local women’s body christened Self Help Group Federation Hungpung Kazipphung was reportedly formed in 2000.

A decade later the SHG today commands 20 groups in the 9000 strong population having 1000 households, informed the SHG secretary Wungreichon ML.

The brain behind the SHG, Wungreichon. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

Having a total of 300 members with each of the 20 groups made up of about 15 to 20 individuals all the members contribute in the range of Rs 20 to 50 twice every month, Wungreichon said while listing livestock rearing, food processing and weaving as the main work for the SHG members, and that weaving with Tangkhul designs is the most preferred activity.

Apart from selling Tangkhul Phaneks in the village, the handloom product is said to draw a significant number of customers in Ukhrul bazaar as well as in various pockets of Imphal where there is substantial Tangkhul population.

In a significant achievement since its inception, the SHG secretary said over 200 of its members have been provided financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each for said over 200 of its members have been provided financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each for construction and repairing of houses. Explaining that as most of the houses in the village are built with wooden planks and timber, the Rs 10,000 assistance is considered to be substantial, Wungreichon also informed that for those members who are financially sound the amount is used in other purposes.

Confiding that plans are afoot to extent the assistance to non-members as well, she claimed that impressed with the SHG activities and progress, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) had recently extended assistance of Rs 25-30,000 to each of the SHG group.

Declaring that formation of the SHG was not on a short-term basis, she asserted that it was set up with a long term vision of eradicating the ills of poverty from the village.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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