Patna: The State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM), under implementation in Bihar for the past five years, has had positive impact on the lives of the weaker sections, a World Bank official said on Wednesday.

Driven by the Self-Help Groups (SHGs), the SRLM has had decisive and positive impact on the lives of the rural people in Bihar and helped in the empowerment and self- reliance of the women in particular, Parmesh Shah, an expert of the World Bank's Rural Development programme said.

There has been significant increase in participation of the people of weaker sections in the governance process since the SRLM was launched in Bihar, he said.

The scheme has also helped the rural poor people in getting out of the debt trap from the private lenders by taking loan from the SHGs for the purpose, Shah said, adding it has been made possible with a revolving fund of Rs. 300 crores created by the SHGs to offer cheap loans to the borrowers in the rural areas.

The soft loan being provided by the SHGs has helped in retirement of 20 percent loan taken from the private lenders, he said.

The SHGs have raised a capital of between Rs. 40 to 50 crores and took the remaining amount out of the revolving fund of Rs. 300 crores as loan from the banks to help out financially the rural people, the World Bank official said, adding that these SHGs were providing loans to the farmers and those involved in horticulture for livelihood and generation of income.

Shah said that the SRLM has proposed to involve the rural people in the task of collection of milk from farmers to the dairy producing cooperative committees under the banner of COMFED and ensuring attendance of the students in schools by launching health programmes for them.

Stating that the SRLM under implementation in 55 blocks of Bihar was a runaway success, the World Bank official said that the scheme will be extended to all 534 blocks by 2014.

Shah, however, emphasized on bringing professionals to run the scheme with renewed vigour and said that it has hired 85 younger professionals, including one graduate of the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE).

Welcoming the young recruits, he said that these professionals have been set a target of helping 1.25 crore rural families in generation of income of upto 2500 crore dollars.

In reply to a question, Shah said that the SHGs have found difficult to implement the SRLM in the naxal-infested states, but the recruitment of younger professionals will boost the success of the livelihood schemes in such states in future.


Latest news from Bihar News Desk