On May 4, 2020, at Krishi Bhavan in New Delhi, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, launched “The Saras Collection” on the Government e Marketplace (GeM) portal to showcase daily utility products made by rural self-help groups (SHGs).
- It aims to provide SHGs in rural areas with market access to Central and State Government buyers.
- The Saras Collection is an initiative of GeM and the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).
5 Product Categories for SHG sellers:
SHG sellers will be able to list their products in 5 product categories namely (i) handicrafts, (ii) handloom and textiles, (iii) office accessories, (iv) grocery and pantry, and (v) personal care and hygiene.
11 States already registered as sellers for Saras Collection:
The first phase is a pilot stage under which 913 SHGs from 11 States have already registered as sellers and 442 products have been on-boarded. The States are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
- GeM has also developed an application program interface (API) based integration mechanism with the NRLM database to integrate large numbers of SHGs in a short time frame.
Training to SHGs:
Sellers need to be trained for uploading their product, order packaging, catalogue management, order fulfilment, bid participation and logistics. For this, NRLM and State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM), GeM will develop online learning resources in vernacular content for SHGs and SRLM staff to meet user specific needs.
- Further, GeM will conduct online webinars for SHGs and develop videos, eBooks, Manual and repository of FAQs for a seamless learning experience.
Benefits to SHGs:
SHGs will be provided with direct access to Government buyers through Saras Collection which will eliminate the need of intermediaries in the supply chain, thus ensuring better prices for SHGs and spurring employment opportunities at the local level.
DAY-NLRM aims to reduce poverty through promotion of diversified and gainful self-employment. The scheme supports building social capital and ensuring financial linkages to alleviate poverty and enhance the quality of the life of rural poor women.
- The program was launched in 2011 by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). In 2015 it was renamed as Deendayal Antayodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM).
Government e Marketplace (GeM) is a 100 percent Government owned Section 8 Company set up as the National Public Procurement Portal to provide online, end to end solution for procurement of goods and services for all Central Government and State Government Ministries.
- The platform reduces human interventions in procurement and enables transparency, cost savings, inclusiveness and efficiency of faceless standardized public procurement.
- It is hosted by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.