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How to form a Bachat Gat Self Help Group

The decision to form a Bachat Gat Self Help Group
Take a firm decision to form your Self Help Group. Do not form a Self Help Group (SHG) just because you have heard about it or someone known to you has started his / her self-help group.

Define the Objective of your Group: Define what you intend to do with your Self Help Group. Whether you wish to form a self-help group only for thrift (saving) purpose or plan to start a self-employment activity. Define short-term and long-term objectives.

Assemble a group of probable members.
Assemble a larger group of probable members. Explain your ideas about the group to them.
Induct only those members who are keen to join.
Do not enroll members just for the sake of forming a group of 10 members.

Call the first meeting of your Group

In this meeting resolve to form your SHG
Name your SHG
Appoint Office Bearers
Frame Rules & Regulations of your SHG
Write down the proceedings of your Meeting in “Resolution” Format & get the signatures of all the members.

Approach your nearest Bank (preferably Nationalized Banks) for opening Bank Account.

Pass a resolution to open the account in Bank and empower three members to operate the account.
Please note, Some Banks call all the members of the SHG at the time of opening the Account.
Your SHG is now formed.

Q.1 What should be the object of forming an SHG?
Ans. Merely forming a group, just because someone other has formed serves no purpose. Also forming a group just to avail some kind of financial incentive also is a very futile exercise. The objective of forming a Bachat Gat is to promote thrift amongst members and at a later stage to explore the possibility of starting some kind of self-employment.

Q.2. What is the minimum number of members in a Bachat Gat?
Ans. With few exceptions, the minimum number of members in a Bachat Gat is usually 10.

Q.3. What would be the ideal size of membership in a Bachat Gat?
Ans. The answer is relative in nature. For eg. if the Group has the vision to get itself involved in self-employment activities at a later stage, it should keep its membership sleek, an ideal figure would be 10 members. Too many members lead to less work and more profit sharers, which gives rise to internal rife in the group. If the group has intended to restrict itself only to savings, the group can be up to 20 or even more. Managing a big group requires a great amount of leadership skill in the office bearers of a Bachat Gat.

Q.4. Can one or more family members enroll in an SHG?
Ans. No. One member from one family is usually inducted. This is done by providing equal benefits to all. For eg. suppose a group approaches for some scheme or some subsidy, and the group has two or three members from one family, that particular family enjoys the benefits manifold.

Q.5. Can we induct member into our SHG from other towns?
Ans. No. The concept of Bachat Gat movement is to enhance community development. Ideally, members from the same locality, village, block are to be inducted.

Q.6. Is Auditing of Accounts required?
Ans. Yes, especially when the savings and the amount receivables grow substantially. Auditing also inspires confidence amongst involved members in the group, it promotes transparency and exudes good confidence from Banking and other Financial Institution, when the group approaches for loan etc.

Q.7. Where can a group be registered?
Ans. A group is registered with local self-government bodies, for eg. Municipal Corporation / Council in urban / semi-urban areas. In Panchayat Samitis in Rural areas. NGOs are also empowered to register Bachat Gat under them. We at Swayamsiddha Bachat Gat Foundation too enroll Bachat Gat under our Mother NGO Programme (Click here for details.)

Q.8 How many times meetings are to be conducted?
Ans. Rules provide at least one meeting in a month, however, it is always a good practice to meet frequently, at least once a week. This helps the group to gel well into a team.

Q.9 We intend to start the business, which activity should we undertake?
Ans. There are no restrictions, per se, for a Bachat Gat for indulgence into any kind of business activity. However, it is suggested that Bachat Gats should not seek advice from others to start a business, they themselves are a good judge of their capabilities and they should do some basic market survey to find out which line of activity can be successful in their location.

Q.10 Can we form a mixed group?
Ans. No. A mixed group is not permissible. In a mixed group, it is observed that generally male members dominate over their female counterparts.

Q.11 How can we start our Business Activity through SHG?
Ans. Starting a Business Activity requires a change of Mindset. It requires a proper approach. The first step is a willingness to start a Business, followed by a selection of products, proper training, mentoring and a person or an organization who can act as a friend, philosopher and a guide

Q.12 How should we market our products? (Most Frequently Asked Question)
Ans. Marketing of products or services is a skill, which the members have to imbibe. In the absence of funds for proper advertisement, the quality of your product and its uniqueness must speak for itself. We advise women to market their products through formal channels like the first distribution of free samples, participation in local fairs, exhibitions, networking through local shopkeepers to display their products etc. There are many other tips that we give.

Q.13) What are the different types of SHGs?
Ans. SHGs are of the following type :
1) Women’s SHG & Men’s SHG
2)Below Poverty Line SHG & Above Poverty Line SHG
3)Urban SHG & Rural SHG
There are many other forms of SHGs for eg. SHGs involved in the agriculture sector, Joint Liability Group (JLG) etc.

Q.14) Is PAN Card necessary for a SHG? How to get one?
As the savings of a SHG grows, banks do ask the SHG to get their PAN Card. PAN Card of a SHG can be applied. Please click here to watch the video relating to getting your PAN Card. 

Q.15) What is NULM / NRLM?
The Government has restructured earlier existing schemes such as Suvarna Jayanti Grameen Swarojgar Yojana etc and formed National Urban Livelihood Mission & National Rural Livelihood Mission to work as agencies for livelihood development.

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