New Delhi: United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday launched the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), one of the major new initiatives under the Ministry of Rural Development to bring the poorest of the poor above the poverty line by ensuring viable livelihood opportunities to them.
The NRLM aims to ensure that at least one member from each identified rural poor household, preferably a woman, is brought under the Self Help Group (SHG) network in a time bound manner. NRLM would reach out, mobilize and support 7 crore BPL households across 600 districts, 6000 blocks, 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats, in 6 lakh villages across the country into their self-managed Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their federal institutions and livelihoods collectives.
It would support them financially and institutionally in all their efforts to get them out of poverty. The poor would be helped to achieve increased access to their rights, entitlements and public services, diversified risk and better social indicators of empowerment
Unveiling the mission document, Ms Sonia Gandhi said that the NRLM is a scheme of the poor, for the poor and by the poor.
It would enable the vulnerable sections of the society to cope with the challenges in an organized manner with the support of Self Help Groups and the institutions under its framework.
Ms Sonia Gandhi also underlined the need to involve the women in carrying out the social audit so that the involvement and participation of the people is ensured for effective implementation of the program.
She said that the success of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA has opened up new opportunities for those who have been benefited and we should try to encourage the beneficiaries to move ahead for sustainable livelihood.
Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Vilasrao Deshmukh Vilasrao Deshmukh called upon the people to join hands with the Government in giving an impetus to the pro people and pro poor welfare programs under his Ministry.
He pointed out that the focus of the Mission is on making the rural poor self reliant especially the women who can act as a catalyst of growth in the rural areas. The Minister emphasized that the new initiative would lead to empowerment of the women in the villages as they come together to form Self Help Groups and try to resolve their problems with the support of Government agencies and other institutions such as the banks.
Union Minister of Surface Transport CP Joshi said that this is a historic moment for the tribal dominated Banswara and a reflection of the commitment of the UPA Government towards rural poor.
In his remarks, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot stated that the State Government would strive its best for all round development of the tribal dominated area of Banswara and the state with the support of the Ministry of Rural Development.
One of the major attractions at the ceremony was the exhibition showcasing the success stories of the Self Help Groups.
On display were the products made by self help groups from Banswara, Barmer, Dungarpur, Rajsamand, Udaipur.
A short documentary on how the Self Help Groups have helped the women in different parts of the country to tide over the difficult situations was screened on this occasion along with another short documentary on the role of skill development and placement support to the rural youth.
Khazuri Devi from Tonk in Rajasthan, Tajunnissa from Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, Sarita Devi from Khagaria in Bihar ,Rajpati from Uttar Pradesh and Ashwini Kumar from Jammu narrated their success stories which generated a very warm response from the gathering.
NRLM has been mandated to ensure adequate coverage of vulnerable sections of the society such that 50 per cent of the beneficiaries are SC/STs, 15 per cent are minorities and 3 per cent are persons with disability, while keeping in view the ultimate target of 100 per cent coverage of BPL families.
A unique feature of the new initiative is that it would be led by the poor themselves. NRLM would utilize the services of Community Resource Persons (CRPs) who are women who have themselves come out of poverty through being a part of the Self Help Group.
They will spread the concept of NRLM from one village to another and from one district to another making NRLM a people’s movement. NRLM is based on large scale successes in states such as Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh where social mobilization and building strong institutions of the poor have led to significant reduction in poverty and empowerment of the poor. It will be a demand driven approach and the states will have the flexibility to develop their own action plans based on their local requirements and availability of resources.
The role of Banks will be of prime importance under NRLM as a source of credit for the poor at reasonable rates. NRLM will focus on getting banks to lend to the poor by making them bankable clients through smart use of subsidy.
NRLM will focus on women as we believe that the best way of reaching out to the whole family is through the woman. There will be a special focus on vulnerable sections: scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, minorities, women headed families, etc.
The second focus of NRLM would be rural youth of the country who are unemployed. They will be supported through placement linked skill development projects through which their skills will be upgraded through short term training courses in sectors which have high demand for services.
The launch of National Rural Livelihood Mission has been one of the planks of the Government towards poverty alleviation. It will lead to a life with dignity for the poor in rural areas who can sustain their livelihood through skill development and training at various levels with support from the Government.(INN)