Self Help (Saath Saath Sashakt Haath)


Language:Hindi, Nimari with English subtitles
Length: 25 min

Nearly six decades after independence the problem of indebtedness continues to plague rural India. Farmers’ suicides appear to be on the increase. Benefits of many rural development programmes evaporate when faced with the cancer of spiralling debt. Over the last 20 years, the micro-credit initiative has attempted to address the problem. Sadly, as the programme has been upscaled there has been an almost commensurate loss of quality. Most self-help groups appear to be mainly on paper. New bad debts have accumulated. Thousands of people have become bank defaulters. The credibility of the whole programme is at stake.

There is an urgent imperative, therefore, to raise awareness regarding the need to strictly adhere to best practices while forming self-help groups. Led by its in-house team of graduates from the Film and Television Institute of India, Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS) has produced 2 films – Self-Help in English and Saath, Saath, Sashakt Haath in Hindi.

SPS is one of the largest grass-roots initiatives working for water and food security in central India. The heart of its interventions concerns formation and management of women’s self-help groups. These films introduce the viewer to the national importance of the SHG movement. But they also raise awareness regarding the need to strictly follow well-developed protocols for running SHGs. The unique strength of these films is that the delicate intricacies of managing SHGs are explained in detail by poor, rural women themselves, based on their own successful experience in a remote tribal pocket of central India.