A self-help group (SHG) is a village-based financialintermediary committee. SHGs have been formed in the VDPs in order to develop the potential of theirworking populations. Rehab focuses on concerns related to women’s empowerment, such as capacity and confidence building of members of these groups. Rehab ensures that communities improve leadership quality, and change from Lenewala (receiver)to Denaewala (giver). These groups enablemembers to gain their identity as individuals,while realising – and utilising – the immensepower of mutual aid. The inculcation of the habit of saving among SHG members is also a majorpriority. Bank accounts are opened separately for eachgroup, while meetings and assessment are conductedperiodically.
Rehab India Foundation provides micro-financeto rural women,to impress upon them an enterprising spirit, and to encouragethem to take up entrepreneurial activity. Theincome generation proposals of members areevaluated and interest free loans are distributed.Credit needs of rural and urban poor womenare met through our Micro-finance scheme.These loans are used productively by vulnerable communities, tocreate their own businesses, grow their assets,and achieve effective and permanentalleviation from poverty. Withthis, Rehab enhances the equality of status ofwomen as participants, decision-makers andbeneficiaries in the democratic, economic,social and cultural spheres of life. As a result ofthe Foundation’s efforts, anincreasing number of rural families are engaging in independent livelihoodactivities. These activities serve as opportunitiesfor diversifying and enhancing their incomes.
Despitethe fact that the Indian workforce is largely employed in agrarian activity, farmers’ incomes remain extremely low – often not even enough to meet basic needs for sustenance. With close to 70% of thepopulation dependant on agriculture for itslivelihood, the difficulties of making ends meet have overwhelmed many,leading to widespread farmer suicides,which have become a serious public policy concernover the course of the last two decades.While the reasons behind this distressing trend are manifold, debt crisis isdefinitely one of the most pronounced. Rehab has therefore crucially implemented a new livelihood programme, initiating Partnership Farming in VDPs. Partnership Farming Programmesprovide impoverishedfarmersinterest free loans. The farmers have to invest only25% of an annual expenditure, the other 75% being provided by Rehab.
QURBANI & MILCH ANIMAL FARMING
Under this program, people aregiven interest free loans for purchasing qurbanianimals. The animals,purchased during infancy, underloans, will be maintained by them. The farmerskeep the offspring and benefitby milking them,as well as increase their livestock.During Eid-ul-Adha, these animals are laterpurchased by Rehab, the meat distributedtothe poor and needy. The farmer benefits from thesale. The loan beneficiaries are supported; theanimals are also purchased from them after givingtheir rightful price and the poor,who receive the meaton Eid, celebrate the festival with joy. Theprogramme reaches out to hundreds of farmer who are poor and can’t afford livestock, while alsoputting food on the table of families who live inpoverty.
SMALL BUSINESS & FAMILY UPLIFTMENT
The problem of unemployment has been one ofthe most challenging, since India’s independence. One of the major causes of this is illiteracy.Being illiterate, impoverished and vulnerablesections of society cannot improve theirstandard of living, and thus remain below thepoverty line. Understanding the problems faced by destitute people, Rehab provides interest freeloans, which in turn economically empowervulnerable communities, while alsocontributing to poverty alleviation and the upliftment of the status of women. The objective of this project has been tostart, promote, assist and carry on socio-economic,educational and employment programmes for thewelfare and development of women, youth andchildren who are economically poor, and unemployed.We single out the most deserving people and helpthem to start up their own small business, hence ensuring their self-reliance, and their ability tosupport their families economically. They are encouraged to organise to build their ownstrength and meet challengeshead on.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING
In villages, employment is largely limited toagriculture and cattle rearing. Village women,though often equipped with sufficient interest and dedication, do nothave the knowledge or training infields of employment other than the aforementioned. The need for the promotion of self-employment, and entrepreneurial ventures amongrural women is very high. Rehab therefore organises training programmes for SHGwomen based on their need and requirements.Basic literacy programmes are also conductedto ensure that all the members of the SHG havethe basic knowledge of writing/signing their own names.Skill Development Training Programmes likeJute product making, Incense stick making,etc. are held exclusively for women self-helpgroup members. This Skill Development TrainingProgramme links SHG members withlivelihood options, thus ensuringsustainable employment, which can be practiced alongsidehousehold and other activities.