Alex Gonsalves sdb AHMEDNAGAR, MAY 15, 2009: Empowering people through the Self Help Group movement has been one of the major programmes undertaken by Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra in rural Maharashtra since the past two decades. Over the years, the SHGs have invested their savings in a variety of income generation projects which have all borne rich dividends. Moving beyond the stereotype projects, one SHG decided to invest in an altogether new item – the purchase of a JCB multitasking machine. On Thursday, May 14, 2009 there was a short function to bless and launch this newly acquired machine. The members of the Group were all smiles as they proudly stood around their prized possession. Present on this auspicious occasion were Fr Anton D’Souza, Fr Ivan Rodriquez, Fr Suresh Sathe the Social Work Coordinator of Nashik Diocese, several village leaders and other civil dignitaries. While the Group invested Rs. 5 lacs from its savings, Rs. 16 lacs were taken as a loan from the Corporation Bank to pay for this machine. This has been the highest investment that any of our groups has received from the Banks till date. The SHG members are confident that there will be quick earnings on this investment and that they will be able to successfully pay off the loan. This entire venture has been a great stimulus to the other SHGs, who are now considering creative and relevant ways of investing their savings. In the midst of the recession, our villagers are charting a bold new economic path for themselves!