Kudumbashree, the Kerala women's Self Help Group which has empowered over 42 lakh households through various entrepreneurial initiatives, is all set to go digital.

The state government has launched an ambitious scheme titled 'Shresta' to integrate the group's various initiatives with the Digital India programme for its effective functioning and better performance. Under the initiative, the 2.5 lakh 'ayalkoottams' (neighbourhood groups) across the state would be digitised, Kudumbashree sources said. A Neighbourhood Group (NHG) is the lowest tier of Kudumbashree.

Shrestra, a special 'work management and rating software', was developed by a group of management students under the guidance of Professor Mummad Shaheed Abdullah of IIM Kozhikode, Kudumbashree Executive Director S Harikishore IAS said. He said it was developed as part of their social development initiative and was offered free of cost for one year to Kudumbashree. 

"The functioning of the neighbourhood groups can be made more effective and transparent through the digitisation programme," the official said. "Besides improving the performance, the software will also help make the credit disbursal system of the group more smooth," he said. 

With the digitisation of the 'ayalkoottams', the complete performance data of the NHGs in the state can be accessed at the click of a button. Bank account details of each NHG, its earnings, loans, personal information of members and infrastructure details would also be available with the installation of the software, Harikishore added. 

State Local Self Government Minister, KT Jaleel inaugurated the digitisation initiative on Thursday evening. Launched in 1998 as a poverty eradication mission by the state government to wipe out poverty through community action, Kudumbashree has tried its hand in various fields ranging from pickle-making to IT business to empower women households in the state.