National Rural Livelihood Mission Empowering Rural Women Through Self-Help Groups

empower women

The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) is a program launched by the Government of India in 2011 to help reduce poverty and empower rural households, particularly women. NRLM recognizes that women in rural areas face the most difficult challenges and are the most vulnerable members of society. By empowering them, the program hopes to bring about overall development for their families and communities.

One of the primary focuses of NRLM is the formation of self-help groups (SHGs) for rural women. These groups provide a forum for women to come together, discuss their problems, and work together to find solutions. They also offer financial assistance to members by pooling their savings and providing loans for income-generating activities. This helps women become self-reliant and boosts their confidence to take control of their lives.

Helps Them to Become Financially Independent and Self Sufficient

The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) provides valuable skill development training to members of self-help groups, which includes building capacity, learning entrepreneurial skills, and understanding market linkages. This training helps women to generate income and become financially independent, giving them the ability to support themselves and their families.

NRLM also gives women access to financial services like microcredit, insurance, and pension schemes. This helps women to start their own businesses or expand existing ones, making them economically self-sufficient.

The program empowers women by encouraging their participation in decision-making processes at the household and community level. Women are encouraged to take leadership roles in self-help groups, village-level organizations, and local governments, giving them a chance to assert their rights and become agents of change in their communities.

Thanks to NRLM, women in rural areas have been able to improve their livelihoods and income levels significantly. They have started businesses like dairy farming, poultry farming, handicrafts, and tailoring, which have provided them with a steady income and improved their standard of living.

Criteria of NRLM

The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) aims to promote sustainable livelihoods and reduce poverty among rural communities, with a particular focus on empowering women. To be eligible to join a Self-Help Group (SHG) under NRLM

  1. Residence: The applicant should be a resident of a rural area.
  2. Age: The applicant should be over 18 years of age.
  3. Income: The applicant should belong to a poor household with an annual income of less than Rs. 1,20,000.
  4. Social Identity: The applicant should belong to a socially disadvantaged group such as Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Minorities, and women.
  5. Willingness to join: The applicant should be willing to join an SHG and actively participate in its activities.

Impact of the National Rural Livelihood Mission

  1. Increased access to credit: NRLM has provided SHG members with access to credit facilities through banks and other financial institutions, enabling them to start and expand their livelihood activities.
  2. Enhanced livelihoods: NRLM has helped SHG members to diversify their livelihoods by promoting activities such as animal husbandry, agriculture, handicrafts, and small-scale industries.
  3. Improved household income: The program has enabled SHG members to increase their household income, leading to improved standards of living and reduced poverty levels.
  4. Women’s empowerment: NRLM has empowered women by increasing their participation in decision-making processes and providing them with opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge.
  5. Community mobilization: NRLM has mobilized communities and built their capacities to take ownership of the program and drive local development initiatives.
  6. Improved social status: The program has contributed to improving the social status of women by promoting gender equity and social inclusion.

 Role of Self Help Groups in Empowering Rural Women

Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have played a critical role in empowering rural women by providing them with a platform to come together, share their experiences, and collectively work towards their socio-economic empowerment.


Self-help groups (SHGs) are a great way for rural women to access finance by pooling their savings and obtaining credit from banks and other financial institutions. This helps them to start their own businesses or expand their existing ones, which leads to an increase in income and economic independence. SHGs also provide skill development training to women, which helps them to build their expertise and become more employable. This, in turn, enables them to take on leadership roles in their communities and participate in decision-making processes.

SHGs encourage collective decision-making, which is crucial for empowering women and increasing their participation in decision-making processes. When women come together, they can make informed decisions that positively impact their lives. This collective decision-making process ensures that every member has an equal say in matters that affect their lives and communities.

How does NRLM help in enhancing the livelihoods of rural women?

NRLM helps in enhancing the livelihoods of rural women by providing them with access to finance, skill development, and market linkages. It also promotes collective decision-making, social empowerment, and access to information on various government schemes.FA

What is the role of self-help groups in NRLM?

Self-help groups (SHGs) are the primary mechanism through which NRLM works to empower rural women. SHGs provide a platform for rural women to come together, pool their resources, and access credit and other financial services. They also provide a space for capacity building, training, and community mobilization.

What is the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM)?

The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) is a poverty alleviation program launched by the Government of India in 2011 to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor, particularly women, through self-help groups (SHGs).

Apna Samaaj

Our mission at Apna Samaaj is to connect underprivileged communities in India with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. We aim to create a comprehensive platform that provides access to welfare schemes from government bodies and NGOs, as well as private organizations, helping to bridge the gap between those in need and those who can provide support. Through our efforts, we strive to empower individuals and communities, drive economic growth, and make a positive impact on society.