Women groups of the Chhattisgarh State Rural Livelihood Mission (BIHAN)
The women of Chhattisgarh State Rural Livelihood Mission (BIHAN) are creating numerous new success stories on an individual level and collectively by forming self help groups that practice in income oriented livilehood activities . This wave of financial empowerment has been made possible by the creation of numerous groups of women and connecting them with modes of self employment through Bihan. One such story is of the Chandni Mahila self help group which comprises of 11 members of the gram Panchayat Rahangi, District Bilaspur. The group started fish farming with the high quality seeds provided by the state government and with the successful germination of fishes,they have earned an income of Rs. 2 lakh from this fisheries business. The families of these sisters of the group are engaged in different kinds of agricultural and non-agricultural work and the women, after joining Bihan have started to contribute a significant share in their family's collective income which has provided them more buying power and has strengthened their socio- economic condition as well.
It is worth mentioning that the state government is making every effort to empower the rural populace in general by creating numerous welfare schemes for farmers,fore st dwellers, rural women,landless farmers etc. Bihan focuses on rural women so that they can also practice income oriented activities by stepping out from the life of household chores and can be significant contributors in their family's collective income.
The financial assistance and benefits received by the group under the Bihaan scheme have brought numerous positive changes in the lives of its member 'didis'. All the didis have collectively decided to form self-help groups and start numerous livilehood oriented activities. The president of the group is Mrs. Anjali Srivas and the secretary is Mrs. Meena Dhruv. After joining the Bihaan scheme, all the sisters of the group got Rs 15,000 under the Bihaan scheme. After one year, the group received 60 thousand from the Community Investment Fund. Using this amount, the didis of the group started the work of backyard farming (bari) and established a grocery store as well. The group is using the vegetables grown in the bari for self consumption, the group made a plan to practice fish farming collectively in the pond built in the village itself. Apart from this, the didi's of this group, with the help of the team of the Block Project Management Unit, submitted an application for a loan in the bank to increase their sources of income. Due to which the group got an assistance amount of 50 thousand rupees from the bank in the form of loan. Out of this amount, Rs 17 thousand were used by the group for the work of fish farming. The 'didis' of the group have been practicing fish farming for more than three years and the are also getting constant and substantial income from this work. They plan to expand the livilehood oriented activities in the future with the income earned from their current works. All the sisters of Chandni Mahila Self Help Group have joined the National Rural Livelihood Mission Bihan Yojana and are motivating other women of the village to join them to indulge in income oriented activities.