Self Help Groups

ODAM SHG members from Nedunkulam 2nd street

Welcome address by Nagalakshmi Treasurer BMS Federation

Remote, rural communities in Tamil Nadu still uphold traditional belief systems that often subject women to a great number of disparities. In addition, remoteness of these communities also prevents women to gain practical tools to support her education or empowerment. ODAM has helped in the formation of women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) and microfinance loans in order to provide women with new political, economic, legal, and social channels that enable them to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.

Since 1995, ODAM facilitated the formation of nearly 900 Women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) to create a vast network providing nearly 14,000 women and their families with socio-economic opportunities. Each Self Help Group consisted of 10 to 20 women and membership in a SHG allows women to take advantage of new economic, health, and educational opportunities. ODAM’s role in SHG membership impacted 278 villages in the Tiruchuli, Narikudi, Kariyapatti, Aruppukottai and Watrap blocks of the Virudhunagar district and the Kamuthi, Mandapam  and Thiruppullani blocks in the Ramnad district of Tamil Nadu. ODAM worked with bank, government, and other charity microfinance schemes to expand loans to women as well as men in the community. It also ran its own small microfinance enterprise from the Tiruchuli office. This project sunsetted as a result of the government’s policy to form “Self Help Group Federations”, which removes non-governmental organizations like ODAM from the formation and maintenance of these microfinance projects.