Till date, total no. of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Cooch Behar district stands
at 1087. Out of these SHGs, revolving fund has been released to 277 groups
from DRDC (District Rural Development Cell), though Rs.15000/- i.e. cash
credit part from Banks are yet to be disbursed to most of the SHGs. Revolving
fund will be given to another 65 SHGs by March 2002 as all of them have passed
in the first grading. Rest of the SHGs are newly formed. Out of 1087 SHGs,
only 24 group-loan cases could be sponsored to the banks.
All SHGs in Cooch Behar district are engaged in various economic activities
along with the active participation in social changes. Key activities are
bamboo/ cane/ jute craft, "pati", rice products, "sola",
and in animal husbandry - mainly dairy, piggery and poultry are popular.
Besides these, vegetable selling, horticulture are also taken as economic
activities in some pocket areas like Dinhata, Mekhliganj and Mathabhanga.
Last year thrust was given to group formation. Up to 1999, only 174 DWCRA
groups were formed. By 2002, that number stands at 1087 which makes the SGSY
quite a success. Now DRDC endeavors to consolidate these SHGs through capacity
building and awareness campaign for group members, panchayats and also
bankers. In 200102002, scheme development training has been given to
Swarojgaris and SHG memebers in trade like Pati, Dairy, Piggery and Poultry.
In 2002-2003, DRDC cooch Behar envisages to extend its activities in more
group formation, to provide for better bank linkage, providing with common
facility centers at block levels and construction of a marketing outlet for
the beneficiaries at the DRDC premises.