Impact of Microfinance on Consumption of Tribal Groups: A Study With a focus to Bankura Districts of West Bengal

Impact of Microfinance on Consumption of Tribal Groups: A Study With a focus to Bankura Districts of West Bengal

Sourav Kumar Das (Vidyasagar University, India) and Tonmoy Chatterjee (Ananda Chandra College, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5213-0.ch017

Abstract

Microfinance has emerged as a prime element aimed at reduction of poverty. Microfinance in a broader aspect provides such access to the socially deprived population (i.e., tribes) so that they can uplift from their destitute position. That is why microfinance may be termed as the development finance. This chapter is an attempt to examine the impact of microfinance on the consumption of scheduled tribes in the backward district of Bankura, in West Bengal, India. For the purpose of the present study, the authors selected 50 SHG tribal women households formed under SGSY (now re-structured as NRLM) and 50 non-SHG tribal women households. All the SHG member households and non-SHG member households belong to the category of below poverty line households. The study concludes that the non-SHG households suffer worst and reductions of poverty of SHG households are still in process. Obviously, there is a perceptible positive impact of microfinance for uplifting their living standard.
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Introduction

Tribal are more backward and they have still been deprived of adequate access in the basic needs of life such as health, education, housing, food, security, employment, justice and equity. Issues of sustainable livelihood, social and political participation of the tribal exists as a major problem in India. Some of them are dispossessed of their own traditional land as their livelihoods are being undermined. Majority of tribes are below poverty line, possess meager assets and are exclusively dependent upon wage labour, subsistence farming, leatherwork, or similar low income generating activities Thus, the development of the tribal population is not a problem of the government only, but also one of the major concerns of inhospitable social system. Since the inception of planning era, the government of India has been trying to eradicate poverty of the poor people more particularly the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Scheduled Castes (SCs) people. However, unfortunately, the SC as well as ST people both have not been able to derive sufficient benefits from this process of planned development. The main reason is that the majority of the SC as well ST people are not even aware of development schemes implemented by government agencies. Another reason is that there is large-scale corruption among officials and improper implementation of SC and ST development schemes.

During the last few decades different researches shows that the poorest among the poor are the rural tribal and the development of this is to be very much concentrated in the process of socio-economic development. Against this backdrop, it becomes essential to investigate the phenomenon of development oriented Self Help Groups (SHGs) that provide employment opportunities and have enhanced income from both farming and non-farming activities. Microfinance to SHGs may be considered as a vital tool for improving the socioeconomic conditions of the tribal people living in the rural areas. Rural communities that are well organised have better chances to develop such opportunities, for example by means of self organization and the generation of community based income generating activities (Gurumoorthy, 2000; Barbara &Mahanta, 2001). The present paper is an attempt to study the impact of microfinance through SHGs in poverty alleviation among the tribal members in Jangalmahal area of Bankura district of West Bengal.

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