Toll plazas operated by women SHGs come up in MP

Bhopal: For the first time in India, women’s self-help groups have started operating toll plazas in Madhya Pradesh at Agar Malwa, Ujjain, and Chhatarpur districts.

The management and operation of the toll plazas located in the Chaachakhedi village on the Shajapur-Dopadha Nalkheda Road in Agar Malwa will be carried out by the Jyoti Women’s Self-Help Group led by Raju Bai, while the Kayatha Toll Plaza in Ujjain district will be managed by Varahamihir SHG led by Kaushar Parveen. The Pragati SHG will take over the management of Sanjaynagar Toll Plaza in Chhatarpur.

This historic initiative finds its root in the MP Cabinet decision according to which operation of toll plazas collecting up to Rs. 2 crore will be given to women’s SHGs with an objective to economically strengthen them. Women members of SHGs will get 30% of the toll collection.

Example of women’s empowerment

In the presence of CM Shivraj, an MoU was signed between women’s SHGs and the Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation (MPRDC). CM Shivraj said that operating a toll plaza is considered an act of courage. Women’s self-help groups are taking responsibility of managing toll plazas itself is an example of women’s empowerment.

CM expressed confidence that the SHG members will emerge successful in operating toll plazas efficiently. He said that women of Madhya Pradesh will achieve new milestones.

Encouraging women, CM Shivraj said this initiative is a significant step towards women’s empowerment.

Women SHGs will receive 30% of toll collection

According to MoU, women’s self-help groups managing toll plazas will receive 30% of the toll collection, and the remaining will go to the MP Road Development Corporation. Members of the groups received training from the Madhya Pradesh State Rural Livelihoods Mission. Rajesh Pandey, the manager of the toll plaza, gave them technical training on toll plaza management related aspects.

The MPRDC will provide essential services such as internet, canopy, electronic toll collection, and toilets facility. The divisional manager of MPRDC will guide and assist the women members of the group and support them whenever needed. Toll collection revenue will be deposited into the joint bank account every day.

Over 4.78 lakh SHGs in MP

More than 4 lakh 78 thousand self-help groups in MP cover 57 lakh families. So far, 5.26 lakh self-help groups have been linked to credit of more than Rs. 6358 crore.

Through the Livelihood Mart portal, self-help groups have sold products worth more than Rs. 700 crore. Women in the SHGs are engaged in various activities such as operating ready to eat plants, purchasing crops at fair prices, uniform manufacturing, water cess collection, fly ash brick production, biscuit making, electricity bill collection, Didi Cafe, and more.

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