Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) : The objective of the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) is to bring the assisted poor families (Swarozgaries) above the Poverty Line by ensuring appreciable sustained level of income over a period of time. This objective is to be achieved by inter alia organising the rural poor into Self Help Groups(SHGs) through the process of social mobilization, their training and capacity building and provision of income generating assets. The SHG approach helps the poor to build their self-confidence through community action. Interactions in group meetings and collective decision making enables them in identification and prioritization of their needs and resources. This process would ultimately lead to the strengthening and socio-economic empowerment of the rural poor as well as improve their collective bargaining power. The poverty line varies from State to State. As per the latest (1999-2000) estimates of the Planning Commission, the poverty line in terms of per capita consumption expenditure per month in the rural areas varies from Rs.262.94 in Andhra Pradesh to Rs.367.45 in Himachal Pradesh. SGSY lays stress on the cluster approach. What this means is that instead of funding diverse activities, each block should concentrate on a few select activities (key activities) and attend to all aspects of these activities, so that the Swarozgaris can draw sustainable incomes from their investments. These key activities should preferably be taken up in clusters so that the backward and forward linkages can be effectively established. This would facilitate not only monitoring but more importantly provision of various services required by the Swarozgaris. Clusters : The key activities may be taken up for implementation preferably in clusters. It must be noted that the clusters are not mere geographic agglomerations but units where the backward and forward linkages can be effectively established. This will facilitate greater control of the progress of the programme, including setting up of infrastructure, raw-material distribution, technology transfer as well as quality control. It is not essential that SGSY should be implemented in each and every village of the Block. Advantage may be taken of the infrastructure already built up so that the results may be more definite. At the same time, care must be taken to see that maximum number of villages are covered under one or the other of the activity clusters. the clusters will be taken up for each activity separately. The idea is to select a few villages every year under a key activity and concentrate the effort so that necessary linkages are available and also the monitoring becomes easy. It is not necessary that if a cluster of villages is taken up in a year, it should be given up the next year. More swarozgaris can be brought each year under the key activity in the identified clusters. However, in doing so, care must be taken to see that there is no undue concentration of a programme in only a few villages.

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