Empowering women entrepreneurs
One of the key tasks the government has taken into hand is empowering of women entrepreneurs across Jammu and Kashmir. For this various schemes and projects are being pursued to encourage women in the Self Help Groups from various districts across the UT.
These groups are scripting numerous success stories towards transforming their lives and the rural economy as well. These successful business women are fast marching towards their entrepreneurship journey with UMEED scheme of J&K Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM) aided by training and soft loans.
Notably, National Rural Livelihoods Mission is being run in J&K as Jammu and Kashmir State Rural Livelihoods Mission (Umeed). The UMEED is turning the wheel of transformation for J&K women to become progressive and self-employed entrepreneurs.
The Rural Livelihood Mission aims to reduce poverty by building strong grassroots institutions of poor, engaging them in gainful livelihood interventions and ensuring appreciable improvement in their income on a sustainable basis.
Interestingly, JKRLM has emerged as a movement with one lakh rural women brought under the ambit of this ambitious Mission in the current financial year making it a network of five lakh women treading the path towards economic development.
Jammu and Kashmir State Rural Livelihoods Mission (Umeed) has a mandate to reach out to 66 per cent of the rural population across the erstwhile 125 blocks linking them to sustainable livelihood opportunities.
The programme is under implementation in 96 blocks across the 20 districts. So far, 405226 poor women have been brought within the fold of SHGs while 4185 Village Organizations (VOs) and 442 Cluster Level federations have been formed. Besides, 46720 SHGs have been constituted and uploaded on MIS. The members have contributed Rs. 135.98 crore as their own internal savings.
Umeed is immensely helping the women entrepreneurs to exhibit and market their products. Women Haat Srinagar provides a platform for the SHG members to exhibit their products and services. Every year a minimum of 5000 women get a chance to exhibit their products.
The opportunities that are being provided to the women entrepreneurs will help in creating an ideal and gender inclusive ecosystem where they have better access to education besides economic growth. This will ensure their presence in the social setup as well as their say in various household affairs will also improve.
Jammu and Kashmir has over the past several years ignored the well being and promotion of women entrepreneurs. Since economic equality for women is integral to achieving rapid development, the process needs serious perusal so that the weaker section of the population also gets to be heard.
This way the women folk will also achieve economic independence which they have otherwise been striving to achieve in this mal dominated world.