TEZPUR, June 15 � The Sonali SHG Unnayan Samittee, a micro-finance organisation based at Khelmati area under Bihaguri development block in Sonitpur district has set an example of generating income for the poorer and the disadvantaged section of the rural people in the district since its inception. This rural socio-cultural and economic body has not only been able to achieve a milestone in the field of finding a way of livelihood for many people, but has built up the economic status of greater Khelmati and Bandarmari area and its periphery through various programmes conducted by it during the last few years.
It should be mentioned here that Pitambar Nath, an educated youth of the area who was at first appointed as a coordinator of SHG groups under the DRDA Sonitpur, launched the concept of micro-finance policies among the economically disadvantaged section of the area by opening 20 SHGs which later extended to more than 400 SHGs under Bandarmari and Phulaguri GPs of the district. To keep these SHGs alive Pitambar Nath later started a micro-finance bank in 2004, named as Sonali SHG Unnayan Samittee registering all the SHGs formed under his initiative. Nath a true believer in work culture and dedication in social work after forming the platform started collection of Rs 50 from each registered self help group every week as donation to strengthen its fund position. In this way the Sonali SHG Unnayan Samittee started its journey taking prominent social worker Thaneswar Boro as president and Pitambar Nath as secretary and imparting various trainings to the SHGs and the people linked with small scale industries, farmers etc. and in cooperation with the Khelmati SBI (ADB), on how to maintain files, borrowing of direct loan from the bank to boost up economic foundation of the economically backward area. The NGO was registered in 2005.
Sonali SHG Unnayan Samittee that is presently, popularly known as �Sonali� among the people which was once started by a socially committed youth in a bid to bring ray of hope among the poorer section of the society taking selfless help of the people of the area as its one and only source of inspiration to go ahead, has now become a big organisation having assets of crores of rupees reflecting the socio-economic development of the area. Moreover, though initially it was confined within the Khelmati and Phulaguri area now it has extended its working field in most parts of the district including Bihaguri, Gabharu, Barchala, Balipara, Rangapara and Dhekiajuli development blocks. On the other hand, it is pertinent to mention here that though earlier it dealt only with looking after the SHGs but nowadays it has been providing loans to the poor people for enhancing their economic stability. Accordingly, many poor people are today managing to find a way to provide the much-needed succour to their families.
In an exclusive interview the chairman and the secretary of the NGO, Thaneswar Boro and Pitambar Nath respectively highlighting the achievements of the organisation till said that Sonali SHG Unnayan Samittee is actively working for the uplift of downtrodden and poor people of the remote areas of Sonitpur district. �Along with the uplift of the economic side of the poor and the needy people, it has also been upholding some other programmes for the socio-cultural and educational development such as opening of children park, organised various training programmes with the help of NABARD and Tezpur unit of field publicity Department etc.,� said the duo adding that the NGO has started some other projects like goatery, fishery, poultry, handloom and textile production centres which has been running with own resources of the farmers and the artisans as well. �Not only that to popularise the products of the SHGs and activities of the NGO �Gramya Mela� (a locally organised trade fair) has been organised every year since inception�, Thaneswar maintained expressing his pleasure over Sonali SHG�s untiring journey of giving a new economic face-lift in the area. �Alongwith these activities we dedicate ourselves to organise free health check-up camps, AIDS day, social welfare activities, cultural programmes, agricultural workshops etc.� he added.
Pitambar Nath, secretary general of the NGO who is also a local school teacher further stated that already about 453 educated unemployed youths in various fields of �Sonali SHG Unnayan Samittee� have been engaged. Apart from this zeal of taking social work in the right direction, the NGO has a dream to establish a college at Khelmati area for those who despite having an intense desire for higher education, have to forego their wish due to financial hardships. Turning their dream into reality �Sonali� has already set up a junior college in the area facilitating the underprivileged students of the greater area.