Context: The motivated, enthusiastic and committed women members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country formed under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is contributing in addressing COVID-19 outbreak in India.

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  • These women are engaged in livelihoods activities, bringing social change through awareness generation, leading movements and responding during natural calamities. 
  • During the on-going crisis, SHG members have emerged as community warriors by contributing in every possible way to contain the spread of COVID-19.
  • The SHG network across the country was made aware of the various aspects of the disease (personal hygiene, social distancing etc.) through Audio Visual (AV) IEC material and advisories developed by the Health Ministry which were circulated to all State Rural Livelihoods Missions (SRLMs). 
  • These SHGs have also been involved in production of masks, protective personal equipment(PPE), hand sanitizers etc.
  • In Tamil Nadu, two volunteers of SHGs are assigned to each PDS shop to ensure that people in the queue maintain adequate distance.

Some more important interventions by various SRLMs are mentioned here:

  1. JEEViKA, Bihar: Stepped in and started working on Information Education and Communication(IEC) materials that would help in awareness and preparedness for the outbreak. 
  2. Prerna, UP: Used their creativity to make rangolis and mark lines and circles to re-emphasise the need for 'social distancing'. They have also been making wall paintings to spread key messages about COVID prevention in their communities.

  1. Didi Helpline, Jharkhand: Open 24 hours to help migrant labourers by providing them verified information. It enables them to provide their data to state authorities to help evacuate them from different states, back to Jharkhand.

  1. Kudumbashree, Kerala:  Notable efforts have been made by women of Kudumbashree in Kerala, to help dispel the widespread fake news that causes panic. Through its network of WhatsApp groups, Kudumbasree is trying to propagate only the right information to the community. These platforms are used specifically to disseminate immediate, authentic information and updates on the outbreak and precautionary measures.

Through many similar responsible collective actions organized across the nation, marginalised and vulnerable women of these communities have played a significant role in the war against Coronavirus while being empowered both socially and economically.

Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana


  • Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in 2011 as a restructured version of Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY). 
  • In 2015, the program was renamed Deendayal Antayodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM).


  • To reduce poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions of the poor.
  • NRLM has set out with an agenda to cover 7 Crore rural poor households, across 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats and 6 lakh villages in the country through self-managed Self Help Groups (SHGs) and federated institutions and support them for livelihoods collectives in a period of 8-10 years.
  • In addition, the poor would be facilitated to achieve increased access to their rights, entitlements and public services, diversified risk and better social indicators of empowerment. 
  • NRLM believes in harnessing the innate capabilities of the poor and complements them with capacities (information, knowledge, skills, tools, finance and collectivization) to participate in the growing economy of the country.

Key Features

  • Universal Social Mobilisation - At least one woman member from each identified rural poor household, is to be brought under the Self Help Group (SHG) network in a time bound manner with special emphasis particularly on vulnerable communities.
  • Participatory Identification of Poor (PIP) - All households identified as poor through the PIP process are the NRLM Target Group and are eligible for all the benefits under the programme. The NRLM Target Group (NTG) derived through the PIP is de-linked from the BPL.
  • Community Funds as Resources in Perpetuity - NRLM provides Revolving Fund (RF) and Community Investment Fund (CIF) as resources in perpetuity to the institutions of the poor, to strengthen their institutional and financial management capacity and build their track record to attract mainstream bank finance.
  • Financial Inclusion - NRLM works on both demand and supply sides of financial inclusion. 
    • On the demand side, it promotes financial literacy among the poor and provides catalytic capital to the SHGs and their federations. 
    • On the supply side, the Mission coordinates with the financial sector and encourages use of Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) based financial technologies, business correspondents and community facilitators like ‘Bank Mitras’. 
  • Livelihoods - NRLM focuses on stabilizing and promoting existing livelihood portfolio of the poor through its three pillars –  
    • Vulnerability reduction and Livelihoods enhancement through deepening/enhancing and expanding existing livelihoods options; 
    • Employment - building skills for the job market outside; and 
    • Enterprises - nurturing self-employed and entrepreneurs (for micro-enterprises).
  • Convergence and partnerships
    • Convergence: NRLM places a high emphasis on convergence with other programmes of the MoRD and other Central Ministries. 
    • Partnerships with NGOs and other CSOs.
    • Linkages with PRIs: In view of the eminent roles of Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs), it is necessary to consciously structure and facilitate a mutually beneficial working relationship between Panchayats and institutions of the poor, particularly at the level of Village Panchayats. 

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana

The Government of India has introduced a new sub-scheme under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY - NRLM) titled "Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana ” (AGEY) from the financial year 2017-18.


  • To provide an alternative source of livelihoods to members of SHGs under DAY - NRLM by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas, as identified by the States
  • To provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services to connect remote villages with key services and amenities (including access to markets, education and health).

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)

The primary objective of the MKSP is to empower women in agriculture by making systematic investments to enhance their participation and productivity,  create and sustain agriculture based livelihoods of rural women. 

Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Program

The Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) is being implemented as a sub-scheme under National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM)  to promote start - up enterprises in rural areas.

The SVEP proposes to address following three major problems of rural start-ups

  • A missing knowledge ecosystem
  • A missing incubation ecosystem
  • A missing financial ecosystem

National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP)

NRLP has been designed as a sub-set of NRLM to create ‘proof of concept’, build capacities of the Centre and States and create an enabling environment to facilitate all States and Union Territories to transit to the NRLM. 

  • NRLP would be implemented in 13 high poverty states accounting for about 90 percent of the rural poor in the country. 
  • Intensive livelihood investments would be made by the NRLP in 107 districts and 422 blocks of 13 states.