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Objective: It is a Self-Employment Programme sponsored by the Central government. Assistance is given to the poor families living below the poverty line in rural areas.

How: People taking up Self-Employment can do activity either individually or in Groups, called the Self-Help Groups. For successful Self-Employment, it is necessary to take up the right activity. For this purpose, 4 to 5 activities are selected  in each Block with the help of officials, non-officials and the Bankers. These are called ‘Key Activities’, and should be such that they give the Swarozgaris an income of Rs. 2000 per month, net of Bank loan repayment. If any BPL person feel that he/she can gainfully take up any activity he/she should immediately approach the Sarpanch/Chairman/Head or the BDO or the Branch Manager of the nearest Bank.

Self-Help Group :

A Self- Help Group (SHG) generally is a team of 10-20 persons. However, in difficult areas like deserts, hills and areas with scattered and sparse population and in case of minor irrigation and disabled persons, this number may be from 5 to 20.

Compositions of Self-Help Group :

In most cases, members of the SHG should be to families below the poverty. However, if necessary, a maximum of 20%, and in exceptional cases, where essentially required, upto a maximum of 30% of the members in a Group may be from families marginally above the poverty line, living continuously with BPL families and if they are acceptable to BPL members of the Group. The APL members of Group will not be eligible for subsidy under the scheme and shall not become office bearers (group leader, assistant group leader or treasurer ) of the group. The BPL families must actively participate in the management and decision making which should not be entirely in the hands of APL families.     

Subsidy Norms for SHGs and Disabled persons :

Subsidy will be uniform at 30% of the project cost, subject to a maximum of Rs. 7500/-. In respect of SC/STs and disabled persons however, these will be 50% and Rs. 10,000/- respectively. For SHGs, the subsidy would be 50% of the project cost subject to per capital subsidy of Rs. 10,000/- or monetary limit on subsidy for irrigation projects.