SHG and NGO
Self-help groups (SHG) and non-governmental organizations (NGO) are different from each other. Yet they have similar features. Both SHG and NGO work to bridge the gaps in society and make it a better place. Both of them stand up for the rights of people. SHG carries out its functions on a small level whereas NGOs work on a large level.
The major concerns in our society are as follows:
- Women’s safety,
- Development of backward tribes and castes.
NGOs work at both the state and national levels to address the aforementioned problems. SHGs primarily focus on a small group of people and identify these problems, providing appropriate aid and assistance to the disadvantaged people. The scale of addressing these issues is different for SHG and NGO. However, both of them work to improve healthcare, sanitation, living conditions, and education prospects.
An NGO is an organization registered as a society, trust, or a Section 8 company legally. Thus, legal registration makes them more organized. SHGs do not have a strict organizational structure as no legislation govern them. They are formed based on Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India, 1949. Article 19(1)(c) provides for freedom to form associations or unions. Thus, SHGs are an association formed at the liberty of people. NGOs having a large organizational structure operate on a wider scale than SHGs and help the masses at a larger level.
The maximum capacity of SHGs is usually upto 20 to 30 people. They focus on small segments of society usually in the rural and underdeveloped areas. The locus of work in an SHG is limited. They focus on small groups at a time. They are founded to provide mutual aid and financial assistance to disadvantaged people or groups. Mostly, SHGs are created to help women. Their main aim is to aid small groups facing problems, especially those belonging to the poorer sections of society.
Medium of Funding
Both SHGs and NGOs are self-reliant in terms of finance and funding. In an SHG, funding is done by its members who voluntarily deposit a particular amount of money in their committee’s fund. This committee fund is then used to help people.
On the other hand, NGOs receive funding through individuals and corporations. Renowned NGOs also receive funding from foreign countries. Foreign funds are regulated by the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) to maintain accuracy and transparency.
Both SHGs and NGOs receive limited funds. The major difference between an NGO and SHG is that the former is more powerful than the latter. The pivotal reason which allocates more power to an NGO is its recognition level. NGOs working on a larger level gain recognition. They also organize welfare activities usually within a group of states or throughout the entire country. Organizing such activities make their work prominent in the eyes of the people and government. This is how NGOs end up getting more appraisals than SHGs.
For example, Child Rights and You (CRY) is an eminent NGO working towards the elimination of the suffering of children in India. They have a larger work area and have successfully covered various Indian states. They aim to offer poor children primary and secondary education. In addition, they help underprivileged children in combating major problems like food scarcity, and, lack of education. Food is also provided to underprivileged children through an Anganwadi network. Thus, it has various objectives going side by side.
SHG functions on a narrow scale and sometimes within its association. Its members provide financial assistance. Thus, financially, they help each other by collecting money from one another and earning it together. Overall, SHGs are small and limited organizations, but they are highly disciplined and determined in their work.
There exist various structural and organizational differences between SHGs and NGOs but their area of work coincides. These differences allow us to gain a better understanding of these major social welfare groups. However, both SHGs and NGOs focus on uplifting society and making it a better place to live. They both help to combat social problems in an effective manner. They thrive for a better society without any administrative support from the government.