All about SAATH, the new female entrepreneurship program launched at J&K today

Srinagar, Sept 1 Eight years ago, Hameeda was stuck in an abyss of ignorance. Originally from a remote village in the Ganderbal district, the 30-year-old barely knew the word bank let alone what a bank account is and how it works.

Today, the same woman is a successful entrepreneur who owns a dairy farm. She has become a beacon of hope for other women in her village. “It was in 2013, when my appointment with the Umeed program, as part of the Jammu-Kashmir State Rural Livelihood Mission (JKSRLM), a flagship project funded by the central government for the empowerment of women, has started. Until then, I had lived a dark age and was confined to the four walls of my house, ”she said.

When she began to reap the benefits of the program, she began to realize her potential and carve out a place for herself in the community.

“It changed my life for the better. I started by saving 25 rupees. I learned how to withdraw and deposit money. Umeed was my first school. It gave me an identity. Subsequently, my savings multiplied and I was able to buy a three-wheeler for my worker brother ”,

Hameeda said her dairy product was so good the food safety official was very impressed after seeing the test results. “I started to make curds in earthenware pots following a training course. Today my product has many buyers because it is chemical free and delicious for the taste buds, ”she said.

She said that an illiterate woman like herself is now considered the primary decision maker in her family. “I became Hameeda ji from Hameeda. With projects like this, the day will not be far off when women can alleviate the poverty that plagues our society, ”she said confidently.

KM / Umar Ganie

Likewise, Haseena, 31, of Sumbal, Bandipora District, never thought she would ever see “Ache Din”.

“I dropped out of school after my mother passed away. All the responsibility for the family fell on me because my father also fell ill. However, life suddenly took a turn for the better when I first learned about the Umeed program in 2014, ”she said.

She argued that the program sharpens her hidden potential and takes her out of the chores of routine life.

“We got small loans under it. With the help of this I started my poultry farm. Today my monthly income is around Rs 5000. As a result, my younger siblings have also been educated and married. The program has been a game-changer and a beacon of hope for marginalized people like me, ”said Haseena, who employs 20 women at her paper machi center.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha unveiled SAATH to promote female entrepreneurship in rural areas. Designed by Jammu & Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission, SAATH aims to trigger and scale up the efforts of women in business, industry and agriculture. Under this program, the government aims to help more than four Lakh women.

“It is an attempt to enlighten women in all aspects and give them a glimmer of hope,” said Lieutenant Governor Sinha.

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Quoting a recent report from the World Economic Forum, he said that women are an invisible workforce and that is what they need to understand. “Women progress and advance in J&K. From literature to information technology, women outperform boys. This platform will be a major contributor to the socio-economic rise of women. If you want to be an inventor or an innovator, now is the time to take advantage of the program, ”he said.

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According to official data, more than 28,000 self-help groups operate at J&K. This program aims to create 11,000 additional groups.

J&K Rural Livelihood Mission (RLM) director Dr Sehrish Asghar said they intended to start with a batch of 5,000 women who will benefit from various workshops under SAATH.

“Out of these 5,000 women, we will select 500 women for intensive training. We will create success stories and role models to reach our four lakh plus self-help members, ”she said.

The workshops will focus on innovation, value creation, identifying market patterns and how to pack the brand, how to connect with customers and how to give employment to other groups. mutual aid.

“These will be sector-specific lots. There will be ten different sectors: breeding, sheep, agriculture, baking, crafts, looms, etc. She said.

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