Gaining strength: now, an all-male SHG in the Nilgiris

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 24, 2018

Most of the members work in their farms, raise vegetables as there is not much else to do in Masakkal

An all male SHG (self help group) is a rare phenomenon, especially since women have been found to be more successful in formation of such groups.

But Sri Mahalakshmi Gents SHG at Masakkal in Kotagiri is an exception... and the group will turn 10 soon.

Functioning in a small hamlet, which is about 15 km from Kotagiri at an altitude of 2,209 metres (about 6,000 feet approximately), this 13-member group came together in 2005.

“We underwent several challenges in this decade-long journey, but managed to hold on. Two of our members moved out four years ago; they went to the plains in pursuit of better education for their children. Two new members joined us,” says Magesh, a member of Sri Mahalakshmi Gents SHG.

Corpus built

Most of the members work in their farm, raise vegetables as there is not much else to do in Masakkal.

The group meets every week, collects ₹100 from each of its members and banks the same. They have over the years managed to build a corpus of ₹70,000. Members are welcome to borrow from this fund. It is recovered in instalments, with some interest.

The group recently took a loan to buy a vehicle to transport their farm produce to the shops in the vicinity.

“When not in use, we let it out on rent and this rental income helps in the upkeep of the vehicle,” he said.

The group has managed to repay 50 per cent of the loan availed. “The outstanding amount is around ₹3 lakhs. Bankers are now after us, offering ₹40 lakh this time.”

Published on July 27, 2015

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