Empowering Tribal Women through Entrepreneurship: A Study of Self Help Groups in Gajapati District of Odisha

Sumita Acharya


Self-Help Group is considered as an important means of bringing women to the forefront of the society. It is also
argued that SHG can empower women since it instills a perception of strength and confidence through augmentation
of income. Entrepreneurship enhances financial independence and self esteem of women. Case of 150 SHG members
of tribal farming community from three tribal blocks i.e. Nuagada, Rayagada, R.Udayagiri of Gajapati District of Odisha
were selected for the study. The information required for the study has been collected from both the primary and
secondary sources. A multistage random sampling method has been followed. This study shows, the empowerment
process through SHG movement in Gajapati is yet to achieve remarkable impact on tribal women by adopting
entrepreneurial activities. The respondents have substantial income which clearly indicates the positive impact of
SHGs on annual income of family. Most of the low income group family enhances their family income to semi medium
category which shows that if they are provided with financial and technical support from the different Government
and non-government departments. However, the main entrepreneurial activities performed by the respondents of all
the three blocks of Gajapati District were goat rearing, marketing of fruits & vegetables, maize cultivation, Backyard
poultry rearing, Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP) collection etc. Out of three blocks in R. Udayagiri block 29(58%)
respondents are in poor economic condition and 19 (38%) of them have no other sources. So the respondent family is
very much interested to avail new schemes of Government and the technologies with less investment. Unless women
contribute significantly to the family income, empowerment of rural women in Gajapati District is not possible.

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