Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY), a scheme to provide an alternative source of livelihood to members of SHGs to operate public transport, was launched in Nagaland on Tuesday.

The flagging off ceremony, attended by Nagaland rural development minister Metsubo Jamir, was held at the directorate of rural development in Kohima.

The scheme aims to facilitate the members of self-help groups (SHGs) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM),

Launched in August 2017, AGEY is a sub-scheme implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) to facilitate transport facilities in the rural areas and also to provide job opportunities to members of SHGs under DAY-NRLM.

Another objective of the scheme is to provide safe, affordable and community monitored transport services to connect villages for the overall economic development of the area by making use of the supports available within the framework of NRLM.

Under the programme, the Community Investment Fund (CIF) provided to community-based organisations (CBOs) under NRLM will be utilised to support the SHG members to operate the vehicles.

Interest-free loan from its CIF corpus is also provided to SHG members for the purchase of vehicles.

The maximum period to repay the loan is six years, which bears all the costs connected with the operation of the vehicle.

The launching of this scheme by the Nagaland State Rural Livelihoods Mission (NSRLM), which is the implementing agency for DAY-NRLM in the state, finally will greatly ease the burden of transportation, especially of SHG products and produce, while also providing earning opportunity for the rural poor, officials said.

Under NSRLM, the AGEY will be implemented in 29 blocks across nine districts covering 30 villages. Altogether 30 beneficiaries from 30 SHGs have been given interest-free loan by the CBOs under this scheme.

One can log in to the link aajeevika.gov.in for further details.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com