Srinivasan Services Trust: Over 1 lakh women generate income worth of Rs 690 Cr

Trust celebrates International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Kasthuri Murugan a Tailoring Teacher

NEW DELHI: With the support of Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company, 171,391 rural women have become micro entrepreneurs and collectively generate income worth of over Rs. 690 crores per year. Founded in 1996 with its employees and which now extends to the greater community. This is an excellent example of women empowerment and poverty elevation programme with a corporate involvement.

Thanks to various income generation programme, 454,479 families now earn more than Rs. 15,000 per month which provides them with much needed financial security that leads to confidence and a capacity to learn and helps to empower themselves.

This year Trust is celebrating 25th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

“In SST, we have enabled over 12,600 SHGs have been formed. 171,391 women have their own additional income which provides them much required financial security. These women are micro-entrepreneurs and have borrowed Rs.208.62 crores from the bank.” statement said.

“Proud to say that there has been no single default in repayments. They have generated over Rs.690 crores per year in rural areas. This has helped in bring all-round improvement in the education, health and environmental issues that the villages face. SHGs have assisted in bringing unity and empower”, it added.

Srinivasan Services Trust said, “This milestone is a reminder to us that despite all efforts there is a lot to be done to end poverty all around the world.”

“In SST, we have over 12,600 SHGs spread across 5000 villages in Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.”, Trust said.

This year United Nations has formally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals which contains a detailed framework for ending poverty in all its forms and dimensions.

Eradication of poverty has long been discussed. In order to achieve this, many strategies have also been evolved. Over 300 million people in India are reported to be living in extreme poverty.

balasubramanian family – feeding to fowls

There are three major avenues for providing financial security to a family. These are:

  • Women Empowerment: Trust works through the concept of Self Help Groups (SHGs) to make women gain greater control over resources, human and intellectual capital of knowledge, information and ideas and financial resources. Women are encouraged and taught to take independent financial decisions for themselves and their families. This becomes possible once they become financially independent themselves, through the various income generation projects run by SST in communities.
  • Agriculture & Livestock Management: Trust has worked very relentlessly in the area of agriculture productivity with a multi-pronged approach aimed at key drivers such as environmental factors, technology and quality of seeds, education of farmers, irrigation etc. It helps farmers adopt modern agriculture practices for better yield and increased incomes. Another important source for increasing income for rural families is livestock management. It Also helps to improve food and nutritional security and also to generate income and employment in case of crop failure, thus leading to financial security.
  • Youth Employment: Trust helps identify the gaps in skills that prevail in the rural areas and train the youth in relevant skills to enable them to find employment within a 20-25 kms radius of their homes. SST has been working in the area of skill development and employability for youth through capacity building, livelihood programmes, vocational training, career counseling, skill development opportunities and jobs that help rural youth to be gainfully employed. In the course of last two years, SST has been able to train a substantial number of youth and almost 90% of them are gainfully employed.

Highlights of the SST empowered villages over last 21 years:

  • Over 183,948 women are enrolled in 12,657 self-help groups
  • About 347,716 Ha land is covered under improved modern agriculture practices and 273,004  farmers have got yield above the state average
  • Over  245,367  families earn an income more than Rs. 3,500 per month through livestock
  • Over  62,711 youth trained in various vocational skills and  61,335  of them are employed earning a minimum income of Rs. 5,000 per month
  • 661,610   families (comprising of 91% of population in project villages) have individual savings bank accounts
  • Dependence on money lenders for consumption purposes has reduced dramatically, from 12 % to 2%

Trust started from merely two villages in 1996 and works in over 5000 villages today touching 3.14 million lives. SST works with over 184,000 women in SHGs, Panchayat leaders and community representatives in these villages.

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