Women outnumber men in SHG movement in Mayurbhanja and Keonjhar

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Baripada, Feb 3 (UNI) Economic activity in some of the remote tribal dominated Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts looked up as at least 7304 Self Help Groups (SHGs) are working as the real ''change agents'' to improve their financial health and shaping their destinies.

Interestingly, the SHG movement in these two contiguous districts has become more gender-specific with women outnumbering their male counterparts. Of the total number of 7304 SHGs promoted by the Baitarani Gramya Bank (BGB) and Regional Rural Bank (RRB) for Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar, 6573 are women's SHGs while the rest 731 are men's SHGs.

The RRB is sponsored by the Bank of India (BOI) that plays the role of a ''Lead Banker'' in the two backward districts of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.

BOI General Manager Subhas Chandra Jain who came here on a two-day visit to review the performances of the RRB told mediapersons yesterday that the RRB could successfully activate 7304 SHGs with over 75,000 members in a bid to rejuvenate the rural economy in its operational jurisdiction.

Mr Jain said the RRB has qualified to enter into the ''positive networth'' fold by netting profit consecutively for last seven years. This year the Bank has earned a profit of Rs four crore, he added.

Baitarani Gramya Bank Chairman Harish Chandra Bavda indicated that the Bank has so far purveyed credit to the tune of Rs 63 crore to agriculture sector, Rs 310 crore to the priority sector and Rs.43 crore to the non-priority sector.

The RRB could get itself placed at a comfortable position by securing a Credit-Deposit ratio of 68 per cent. This was much above the national average, Mr Bavda added.

The Chairman of the RRB said the BGB has signed an MOU with Bank of India to achieve its target of mobilising deposits to the tune of Rs 607 crore, purvey credit of Rs 400 crore and also to make a net profit to the tune of Rs four crore by the current financial year.

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