Chief Minister inaugurates SHG Mega Event cum Health Mela

Shillong, Nov 21: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Saturday inaugurated the SHG Mega Event cum Health Mela organized by Umsning C & RD Block, Ri Bhoi District at Union Cristian College, Umiam Khwan. Also present Dr W R Kharlukhi, MP, Rajya Sabha, Dasakhiatbha Lamare, Minister, PWD [Buildings], Jason Sawkmie Mawlong, MLA, Umsning, Macdalyne Sawkmie Mawlong, MDC, Umsning besides R M Kurbah, Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi and other senior officals from the district.

 

In his address to the gathering the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma emphasized the importance of Self Help Groups [SHGs]. He said that the Government has always felt the need to protect and support the grass root level systems. “The Government strongly felt the only way to do it was to create an institution at the grass root level to be able to reach out to every household in the state,” he said. He added that SHGs are not just livelihood programs, but they are institutional systems and networks. He said that the same institutional set up of SHGs can be used for multiple government programs.

 

The Chief Minister said that the SHGs movement is one of the key successes of the government. He informed that from a mere 6,000 groups it has increased to 36,000 SHGs across the state, similarly he said that the village organizations have increased from 200 to 2500. He also added that the allocation for different community investment funds has also increased from10 crores to 110 crores.

 

“This type of success we have achieved in the SHG movement, where more than 3.5 lakhs of women are reaping benefits because of the schemes and the programmes is something that we all should be happy about,” he said. He also informed that the target is to touch 42000 SHGs in the next one year.

 

“Today under the Umsning Block about 1.6 crores will be released to 181 SHGs from the NRLM and under the Umling Block 78 lakhs will be distributed to 135 SHGs,” he said.

 

The Chief Minister also gave an insight on the FOCUS programme, which also focus on the grass root level.

 

“There are more than 4.5 lakh families that depend on Agriculture in the state, there is no particular scheme of the State Government that brings direct benefits to these farmers. Covid was a very difficult time for the famers and everybody, therefore the government felt it needed to give some kind of financial help to different farmers and hence it started this programme FOCUS,” he informed the gathering.

 

He said that the government has focused on the marginalized and the grass root people and have started a number of Farmer’s Welfare Programme. Under the FOCUS programme an amount of Rs 32,45,000 was released to 40 FPO benefiting 649 members under Umsning Block and Rs 16.5 lakhs was released to 330 farmer families under the Umling Block.

Later the Chief Minister also distributed cheques to different SHGs and FOCUS beneficiaries also visited the stalls of the SHGs that were set up as part of the event.