Convergence, an initiative in achieving Convergence for SHG members and unemployed youth
Convergence was initiated as a small experiment in the district of Purulia to enhance livelihood opportunities of the tribal women through specific micro firm based as well as non-firm projects and training interventions. Some of the initiatives in Purulia emerged as interesting models of development, especially of tribal women. Hon’ble Chief Minister, having been impressed with the initiative, gave it the name of Convergence. Later on, the project was extended to all the South Bengal districts except Bankura. Initially the focus in Convergence was livelihood augmentation of the SHG households by providing support for micro firms and micro enterprises. The focus was also on skill up-gradation of SHG members in both production and service sectors. The department also included an element of support to individual youth through skill development and bank loan subsidy-linked projects. In a shift in approach, the department has decided to implement Convergence as a convergence initiative where all the development departments having stake in village development and development of livelihood are to be taken on board and through concerted effort all the villages in the project area are to be developed using resources from multiple departments and programmes. The role of SHG&SE Department has been conceived of as the coordinating department in such convergent community action.