Bhubaneswar, Oct 26 (LocalWire) Odisha government has decided to expand the franchise areas of women self help groups (WSHGs) to all 30 districts in the state for monthly electricity billing and dues collection work.
The WSHGs have been roped-in for this work in some districts turned out to be a success in augmenting the income sources of women living in the village areas.
Besides, it has made them to become self reliant to support their family.
Therefore, the government has decided to extent the scheme to all districts, said Secretary, Women and Child Development Department and Director Mission Shakti, Sujata R Karthikeyan in a letter to all district Collectors.
The electricity billing and monthly bill collection have emerged as important income generating activity successfully implemented in a few districts.
To make it uniform across the State, the government has framed model guidelines to scale up the livelihood pattern of women involved in the work. There will be a uniform guideline for selection and engagement of groups in such work, the letter said.
One WSHG will be chosen from each gram panchayat with franchise area in the particular area assigned to them.
The group must have two years experience, an active bank account and updated passbook in order to attain eligibility for the work.
The assignment of the selected group will last for two years, after which the agreement may be renewed and terminated, the letter said.
A four member committee constituted for the purpose will scrutinize the eligibility criteria and credentials of WSHGs before entrusting them with the work.
The group will be paid Rs five per consumer towards billing and Rs six towards collection of charges.
If collect is 100% or more than the previous month, they will be paid incentive of 15%. Besides, for every new consumer and regularization of consumer, there will be an incentive of Rs 100, it said.
The SHGs will have to sensitize the consumers in their franchise area on the rights and duty of consumers, complaint redressal, power theft, illegal usage of electricity, timely payment of dues, misuse and wastage of electricity and energy conservation, the letter said.
It’s pertinent to note here the State had earlier provisioned services and procurement of goods through SHGs besides convergence of Mission Shakti with different departments.
The WDHGs were earlier engaged in the supply of pre-school uniforms to Anganwadi centres.
Besides, Mid-day Meal cooking assignments were also handed over to them in various parts of the State. The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department had engaged them for paddy procurement operations. The initiative in inclusion of WSHGs in governmental works of these natures has, however, met with moderate success with reports of male members doing proxy and managing the show on women’s behalf.