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Kudumbashree model lauded

Our Bureau

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, June 9

THE Planning Commission has commended the poverty alleviation activities being co-ordinated by the Kudumbashree initiative under the State Poverty Eradication Mission set up as part of the Department of Local Self-Government.

An official spokesman quoted the State Local Affairs Minister, Mr Cherkalam Abdulla, as saying that the successful Kudumbashree experiment had come up for special mention by the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission during a meeting with the Chief Minister, Mr A.K. Antony, for finalising the 2003-04 annual Plan for the State.

The fact that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had selected Kudumbashree as one among the 20 globally respected best practices model was also highlighted during the meeting, Mr Abdullah said.

The Kudumbashree model linking poor households in a novel programme aimed at poverty alleviation has been extended to cover all panchayats in the State.

This has resulted in the setting up of more than one lakh neighbourhood groups in which more than 23 lakh families have been enrolled as members.

No less than Rs 190 crore was raised as deposits from them, and Rs 230 crore disbursed as credit.

Kudumbashree has managed to establish a bank linkage programme under which small savings raised can be converted into capital that can be employed for small enterprises; Rs 54.62 crore was raised in this fashion benefiting more than 15,000 neighbourhood groups in the current year.

In the next year, the programme aims to link 20,000 more families and disburse Rs 75 crore as credit, the Minister said. The neighbourhood groups are engaged in a concerted effort to raise crop on identified stretch of fallow lands.

A programme for imparting computer training for women members is also progressing apace.

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