Empowerment & Planning Process
“ A Candle loses
nothing by lighting another candle. ” - Swami Vivekanda.
"In most of the developing countries today, more and more emphasis is laid
on the need for development of women and their active participation in the
main stream of development process. It is also widely recognized that
apart from managing household, bearing children, rural women bring income
with productive activities ranging from traditional work in the fields to
working' in factories or running small and petty businesses. They have
also proven that they can be better entrepreneurs and development managers
in any kind of human development activities. Therefore, it is important
and utmost necessary to make rural women empowered in taking decisions to
enable them to be in the central part of any human development process.
The Empowerment of Women also
considered as an active process enabling women to realize their full
identity and power in all spheres of life.
The all round development of women has been one of the focal point
of planning process in India. The First Five-Year
Plan (1951-56) envisaged a number of welfare measures for
women. Establishment of the Central Social Welfare Board, organization
of Mahila Mandals and the Community Development Programmes were a few
steps in this direction.
In the second Five-Year Plan (1956-61), the empowerment of
women was closely linked with the overall approach of intensive
agricultural development programmes.
The Third and Fourth Five-Year Plans (1961-66 and 1969-74)
supported female education as a major welfare measure.
The Fifth Five-Year Plan (1974-79)
emphasized training of women, who were in need of income and protection.
This plan coincided with International Women’s Decade and the submission
of Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India. In 1976,
Women’s welfare and Development Bureau was set up under the Ministry of
The Sixth Five-Year Plan (1980-85) saw a definite shift from
welfare to development. It recognized women’s lack of access to resources
as a critical factor impending their growth.
The Seventh Five-Year Plan (1985-90) emphasized the need for
gender equality and empowerment. For the first time, emphasis was placed
upon qualitative aspects such as inculcation of confidence, generation of
awareness with regards, to rights and training in skills for better
The Eight Five-Year Plan (1992-97)
focused on empowering women, especially at the gross roots level,
through Panchayat Raj Institutions.
The Ninth Five-Year Plan (1997-2002) adopted a strategy of
women’s component plan, under which not less than 30 percent of
funds/benefits were earmarked for women-specific programmes.
The Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-07) aims at empowering women
through translating the recently adopted National Policy for Empowerment
of Women (2001) into action and ensuring Survival, Protection and
Development of women and children through rights based approach.
The government of
Andhra Pradesh is committed to social and economic empowerment of
women. It has adopted micro credit as a tool to attain the same and
had taken the SHG-Bank Linkage program as a mass movement since
1998-99 onwards in the State to achieve the goal.
Various training and
capacity building programs have been conducted on production, packing,
marketing, micro credit and utilization of loans etc., to women SHGs.
In addition to the above regular skill development training programs
are being organized for giving value addition to SHG products, to
develop skills among women on marketing, packaging, etc. Due to the
efforts of the government more than 3.50 lakh women SHGs have availed
loans from banks and other financial institutions and improved their
economic status. Some of the groups have availed the loans 2 to 5
During the financial year 2003-04 Rs.
1000.00 crores has been targeted as loan mobilization under SHG-Bank
linkage program and an amount of Rs.826.38 crores has been mobilized
up to Feb’ 04.Outstanding achievements In Andhra Pradesh more than 51%
SHGs were financed by banks under SHG Linkage. This number is more
than the all India figure excluding that of Andhra Pradesh. Further
44% (Rs.1,095 crores) of SHGs were disbursed the bank loan as against
the total amount of Rs.2,438 crores at all India level. 33,000 SHGs
were provided repeat finance by banks during 2002-03 which comes to
32% of 1, 02,391 at all India level. As per the reports of the
bankers, the recovery of loans is around 95% as against 87% when
comparative to other states.
The SHGs have taken up various income generating activities by
availing themselves of the facility under SHG – Bank Linkage program
and increased their production to the extent that it supplies to the
entire country. Micro Finance as a tool of poverty alleviation and
women empowerment has gained acceptance in development dialogue the
world over. There is an acute need among the poor for credit, both for
consumption and production, which often forms the declining line
between survival and succumbing to poverty. For Women to become a
successful entrepreneur, she needs access to capital, technical and
managerial know-how and market. Women are critical for Development
process. Still yet to understand.
Contributed By: BEHARA SRINIVASA RAO, Associate Professor, MBA
Dept, Aditya Institute of Technology and Management (AITAM) ,Tekkali -
532201. A.P., E-mail: