Port Blair, March 25: The Andaman & Nicobar Islands Rural Livelihood Mission attached to the Directorate of RD, PRIs & ULBs, A&N Administration is implementing DAY-NRLM scheme since 2015-16 with the aim to enable the poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions of the poor such as Self Help Group, Primary Level Federation (also known as Village Organizations) and Cluster/Block Level Federations.

Under the scheme, Self-Help Groups exclusively by the women of rural area within the age limit of 18- 60 yrs is formed. Formation of mixed groups of men and women are not allowed under NRLM. 

Till date 10390 SHG members, 79 Village Organizations (VOs) and 05 Cluster Level Federations has been formed under DAY-NRLM in this UT. The SHGs following Pancha Sutras i.e. regular meetings, regular savings, regular internal meetings, regular recoveries and maintenance of proper books of accounts are given Revolving Funds (RF) of Rs.15,000/- (Rupees Fifteen Thousand Only), Community Investment Fund (on Loan Basis) of Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand Only) and also provided Bank linkages (Loan) at the rate of 7% per annum.

884 SHGs have received an amount of Rs. 131.70 Lakh as Revolving Funds and 542 SHGs have received an amount of Rs. 348.40 Lakh as Community investment Funds. SHGs are also availing Bank Linkages as per their requirement for their livelihood activities. The SHGs are also collecting monthly savings of Rs.100/- to Rs.200/- per month which is inter-lended as small loans to SHG members to fulfill emergent needs.

With the financial support received through NRLM scheme, the SHG members have taken up livelihood activities related to farm as well as non -farm intervention such as Backyard Poultry, Duckery, Goatry, Vegetation Cultivation, Spice Cultivation, Bee-keeping, Bouquet making, Agri Nutri Gardening, Tailoring, Beauty Parlours, Pickle Making, Paapad Making, Mid-Day Meal Supply, Masala Making, Snacks Making, Production of Virgin Coconut Oil, Handicrafts Making, Petty shops, Restaurants/Hotels. Nearly 50% SHG ladies are engaged in farming activities, 20% are making handicraft items, 15% are doing tailoring, 5% are having petty shop, 5% are providing mid-day meals, 2% are involved in catering services, 2% are beautician, etc.

6 Producer Groups, 4 on Poultry Farming, 1 on Vegetation Cultivation and 1 on Arecanut Plantation have been formed under ANIRLM at different Blocks of South Andaman, North & Middle Andaman District where 99 SHG members are involved in common farm activities and ANIRLM shall be releasing Rs.50000.00 per PGs as an onetime infrastructure grant to all the said Producer Groups. Also, formation of new Producer Groups on Mushroom Cultivation, Bee Keeping, Goatry is under process.

The Directorate of RD, PRIs &ULBs, A&N Administration to also providing handholding and marketing support to the SHG members to earn better livelihood by sale of their products.

10 SHGs have been registered on GEM Portal under Service Sector and registration of 40 SHGs is under process. The SHGs are being supported and encouraged to get registered on GEM. The SHGs made products are also being promoted through Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatssApp for marketing of their handmade products. Business Pages have been opened in the Facebook & Instagram with following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ANI-Rural-Livelihood-Mission-108292581542968/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anirurallivelihood/

With the efforts of the department for e-marketing of SHG products, the SHG members have started getting online orders and the first order was from Gujarat for supply of eco-friendly 4 feet Idol of Lord Ganesha made of coconut coir. The SHGs are also getting orders from GEM for catering service during departmental programmes. Till date 14 orders under Services Sector (for Catering) has been received from various Departments.

The SHG members participate in various Mela organizes at State and National Level like SARAS Mela held at Jodhpur in 2019, Jaipur in 2021, Delhi in 2022 and got overwhelming response from the visitors for the products showcased like Virgin Coconut Oil, Coir handicrafts, Mats, and Food items like Coconut Laddoos, Muruku, Acchappam were on high demand during the Mela’s.

Recently, the SHG members have launched a small Snacks corner at Mahua Beach, under South Andaman District and further it is planned to take the Snacks corner on Wheels by availing the loan assistance provided by ANIRLM.

Also 31 SHG members availed loan facility benefit under PMFME Scheme for Rs. 11,76,600 who are involved in Food Processing activities and release of fund to 32 members Seed Capital amount of Rs. 12,07,000 is under process. Very soon the SHG members will launch Grounded Masala under the name of Sakhi Saheli Masale.

Under PM-POSHAN Scheme run by the Department of Education for supply of Mid Day Meal for the FY 2022-23, 53 SHGs members across islands came forward for getting involved in the Tender process. 

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the SHG Members have also stitched Masks which was distributed to COVID-19 frontline workers and few SHG Members of all Blocks have also distributed free rations kits to the poor communities. For ban of plastic bags, the SHG Members have also stitched bags made from waste clothes and distributed in their respective areas. 

In a major achievement, keeping in view of the good work done by the Community Resource Persons, few of the Community Resource Persons have won the post of Pradhan, Panchayat Samiti Members and Ward Members in the Panchayat and Municipal Elections held on 06.03.2022 in their respective areas.

Knowing the good works of the SHGs of this UT, the Administration has taken an initiative for detailed analysis/evaluation of Flagship Schemes of GOI &Administration through Janbhagidari with the support of the SHG members of DAY-NRLM and NULM schemes of GOI.