ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Didi of Rural Bihar: Real Agent of Change?

The Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society, JeeVika, a state-led women's self-help group, is active since 2007. Based on primary research, this article highlights the potential role of the individual rural woman - the didi - in driving the social and economic shifts necessary for sustainable poverty reduction in rural Bihar.

This brief overview is the first in the series of articles based on a pilot survey of the study “Poverty and Social Impact of Rural Livelihoods in Bihar” funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research and the Economic and Social Research Council, the United Kingdom

The term didi is used to address an elder sister. It embodies the notion of respect. Traditionally, the term has remained within the social domain. This brief overview provides an insight into the emergence of rural self-help groups (SHGs) for women – the Bihar R ural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS): JeeVika – where the term is formally deployed to address member colleagues. The article also explores how this nomenclature can influence in mobilising the immense underutilised social capital of rural women. Based on the primary research done by the author, this article highlights the p otential role of the individual rural w oman – the didi – in driving the social and economic shifts necessary for sustainable poverty reduction in rural Bihar.

SHGs in India

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