Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha inaugurated 11-day long SARAS Aajeevika Mela at the Aquaplex Crown Bagh-e-Bahu today.
The Lt Governor congratulated the J&K Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) and Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj for inviting Self-Help Groups women entrepreneurs from across the country. The exhibition is the largest gathering of rural women Self-Help Groups from 15 States/UTs to showcase their skills and build the linkage with bulk buyers.
“Women entrepreneurs will be the main sustaining force of socio-economic growth. SHGs have been doing praiseworthy work in supporting women artisans and entrepreneurs in rural areas,” he said.
The Lt Governor said the first budget of Amrit Kaal has given priority to the women. As many as 81 lakh Self Help Groups will be enabled to reach the next stage of economic empowerment through formation of large producer enterprises, he said.
The Lt Governor also shared the efforts of the government to promote women entrepreneurship in J&K UT.
Various new schemes like Saath, Hausla in J&K UT, aims to assist Self-Help Groups to enhance their business, training and support for better packaging, branding and marketing so they can scale up the operations to serve the consumer markets across the country, the Lt Governor said.
Within a short period of time, around six lakh women from the rural areas have been associated with 74,000 Self-Help Groups in Jammu Kashmir, he observed.
We have intensified the women entrepreneurship movement by providing financial assistance without guarantees, training and necessary support so that Nari Shakti can contribute in the journey of Atmanirbhar Jammu Kashmir, observed the Lt Governor.
“Jammu and Kashmir is the second state/UT in the country after Andhra Pradesh, which has created a dedicated industrial estate for women entrepreneurs. Krishi Sakhi and Pashu Sakhi Programmes have been launched under the Rural Livelihood Mission to make women economically independent,” said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor expressed hope that SARAS Aajeevika Mela will give renewed push to One District One Product initiative.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor released SARAS Patrika, showcasing the journey of J&K Rural Livelihood Mission.
The Lt Governor also launched the official website of JKRLM and a toll-free helpline. The facilities will help JKRLM to get feedback on its services and also inform the general public about the Mission. The website is designed with a focus to provide a marketing linkage to SHGs and strengthen the linkage between buyers & sellers.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, while appreciating JKRLM for organizing such an event in J&K said that the Mela would give wide exposure to SHGs women.
Ms. Mandeep Kaur, Commissioner/Secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Ms Indu Kanwal Chib, Mission Director JKRLM, also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the objectives of the initiative.
Members of Self Help Groups, artisans and prominent citizens were present on the occasion.