Question: The penetration of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural areas in promoting participation in development programmes is facing socio-cultural hurdles. Examine.
Answer: Self Help Groups are very important for implementing programmes at grassroot level due to their ability to penetrate deep into society and promote community participation. SHGs are facing various hurdles in terms of its implementing capacity due to various factors.
Socio-cultural hurdles in development programmes
Various superstitions exist in society and cultural practices that act as counterproductive against efforts to develop society. These practices act as largest hurdles and it needs lot of efforts from government to eradicate them completely.
Ex: Working women are not desired in traditional society which makes their participation in SHGs difficult.
- Religious beliefs
There are various religious beliefs in society that can be called undesirable because the harm it can cause to efforts of change. These beliefs are unnecessary and they cannot serve anything good for the society.
Ex: Women are considered inferior to men and their freedom is restricted.
The authorities have to be well versed with language of the region in order to better connect with people. Knowing the language will be advantageous to faster development and greater community participation through SHGs.
Ex: SHGs working in tribal areas can succeed if they know language of the community.
Measures to reduce socio-cultural hurdles
- Community participation
In order to better understand customs and beliefs it is necessary that people from the community are taken into confidence. If they can be convinced, the implementation of programmes can be successful.
Interference from higher authorities can be restricted to only necessary clearance and greater autonomy is provided for certain groups. Greater independence and less red tape can turn into a successful venture.
Thus, SHGs can be turned successful if social participation is given equal importance. Respect for culture and tradition is very necessary if success has to be achieved.