New Delhi: The pace of reduction of poverty in India has speeded up in recent years as per the Global Multi-dimensional Poverty Index 2018 as also the note published by the Brookings Institution.
The Deendayal Antodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is aimed at alleviation of rural poverty through building sustainable community institutions of the poor. It seeks to mobilize about 9 crore households into SHGs and link them to sustainable livelihood opportunities by building their skills and enabling them to access formal sources of finance, entitlements and services from both public and private sectors. It is envisaged that the intensive and continuous capacity building of rural poor women will ensure their social, economic and political empowerment and development.
Progress during April 2014-November 2018
The achievements of the Mission in key areas are furnished below:
a) Mission Footprint: During the period, 2411additional blocks have been covered under the “Intensive” strategy. Cumulatively, the Mission is being implemented in 5,123 blocks spread across 612 districts of 29 States and 5 Union Territories (UTs).
Community Institution Building: Between April 2014 and November 2018, more than 3 crore rural poor women have been mobilized into 26.9lakh Self Help Group (SHGs) across the country. Cumulatively, more than 5.63 crore women have been mobilized into more than 49.7 lakh SHGs. Further, the SHGs have been federated into more 2.73 lakh village level federations and about 25,093 cluster level federations.
In addition, these community institutions have been provided more than Rs.5,919.71crore as capitalization support out of which nearly85% (or Rs.5030.7crore) have been provided in the above mentioned period.
Financial Inclusion: The loan outstanding to SHGs have increased from Rs. 32,565 crores in March 2014 to Rs. 76,591 crore in October 2018. Cumulatively, Rs.1.96 lakh crore worth of bank credit has been leveraged by the SHGs during the last five years. The quality of the portfolio has also shown a marked improvement with NPA declining to 2.64% in the current year. This is a result of sustained efforts made by the states to promote timely repayment of loans by the SHGs.
Financial Services in Remote Areas: During this period, steps have also been taken to promote alternative models for delivery of financial services. About 3050 SHG members have been deployed as Banking Correspondents Agents (BCAs) to provide last mile financial services including deposit, credit, remittance, disbursement of old age pensions and scholarships, payment of MGNREGA wages and enrolment under insurance and pension schemes. As of November 2018, over 16 lakh transactions amounting to Rs. 185 crores had been completed.
MahilaKisanShashaktikaranPariyojanaand Value Chain Initiatives: In order to promote agro-ecological practices that increase women farmers’ income and reduce their input costs and risks, the Mission has been implementing MKSP. From April 2014 to November 2018, about 3 lakh additional women farmers have been covered under MKSP bringing the total coverage to 35.92 lakh women farmers under the project.
Since FY 2015-16, DAY-NRLM has also made significant efforts on creating value chain development interventions to enhance market linkages. The idea is to develop a complete business model to provide primary producers with end-to-end solutions from creating producer organizations to building marketing linkages.
The Mission has approved proposals to support 2 lakh SHG members under value chain development interventions. The sanctioned projects cover a variety of agriculture, livestock and NTFP commodities. The interventions are in vegetables, floriculture, mango and ginger, cashew, hill broom, tamarind, amla, bael, salai gum and other NTFP products, dairy, fishery and goatery value chain development. These interventions are focused on developing value addition and market linkages through Producers’ Enterprises. As on date, 1.2 lakh SHG members have already been covered under these interventions.
Further, the Mission has also supported in the development of 7028 Custom Hiring Centre/ Community Managed Tool Banks across multiple States during the preceding four years. These hiring centres enable small and marginal farmers to hire farm equipment and services such as soil testing, cold chain management etc., at nominal rates.
f) Community Livelihood Professionals: Apropos to the directions given by NITIAayog in 2016, profiles of more than 1.99 lakh community members have been digitised. The CRPs have been trained and deployed to provide support to the community institutions in a variety of themes, such as bookkeeping, training and capacity building, financial services etc. This also includes more than 31,889 Community Livelihoods Resource Persons (CLRPs) such as Krishi Sakhi and PashuSakhi who provide 24X7 doorstep extension services to the small and marginal farmers including dairy farmers.
g) Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme: DAY-NRLM has been promoting SVEP to promote and strengthen rural start-ups in the non-farm and off-farm sector. The strategy is to promote knowledge about business feasibility, management and to provide access to loan finance for start-up as well as scaling-up the existing enterprise. Implemented in 17 States since 2016-17, about 30,352 enterprises have been supported under SVEP till 30th November 2018.
h) AajeevikaGrameen Express Yojana (AGEY) was launched in August 2017to provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services to connect remote rural villages. As on November 2018, proposals from 17 States have been approved and 624 vehicles are currently plying on road.
i) Independent Assessment of DAY-NRLM: During January to March 2017, the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) carried out an independent assessment of design, strategy and impacts of DAY-NRLM. The sample consisted of nearly 4500 households spanning across 746 villages. The results of the survey indicate that the households in the treatment areas:
have a higher number of livestock assets as compared to control areas;
· show a higher proclivity to save informal institutions;
· have a higher loan size and are more likely to borrow from formal financial sources; NRLM households also pay a lower rate of interest;
· have 22% higher (net) income than the households in the control areas, and
· participate more in PRIs.