Women empowerment our top priority: Govt

 Ishtiyaq Kar

Srinagar, Oct 01 (KNS): The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory Government Sunday said that it was working aggressively to identify various stakeholders cum partners, to help women entrepreneurs in the Union Territory.
“Women are becoming more socially and economically independent after the various initiatives like Saath, Umeed, Mumkin, Hausla, and Tejaswini,’” one of the top government officials assigned the job of identifying various initiatives for women, told news agency Kashmir News Service (KNS).
He said that the Union territory government was also working aggressively to identify other various initiatives and accordingly, JK Trade Promotion Origination (JKTPO) was identifying various stakeholders cum partners which can help women entrepreneurs to scale new heights.
“The Government gives utmost priority to the safety, security and empowerment of women including rural women. The Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to address the issue of women on a life-cycle continuum basis for their educational, social, economic and political empowerment so that they become equal partners in fast paced and sustainable national development,” the official maintained.
The officials here in the government believe that women of Jammu and Kashmir are now capable of achieving great heights in every field.
The purpose of the government, officials told KNS, is to make women of Jammu and Kashmir job creators rather than job seekers, and to boost the contribution of women entrepreneurs to the UT's GDP.
He said that the government is committed to providing women entrepreneurs from SHGs with access to capital, quality mentorship for re-skilling and new-skilling, and assistance in reaching new markets.
The official added that the inclusion of women in Self Help Groups (SHGs) under the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (UMEED) scheme has revolutionised women entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.
According to the other official’s assigned the job of identifying various initiatives for women, the government has taken a holistic approach to developing a women entrepreneur ecosystem to connect, collaborate, and invent for scaling up business and building a strong women workforce.
“The bottom-up structures are being strengthened for women and youth to create empowered individuals in Jammu and Kashmir, “they said adding that “They have resources available to create smarter enterprises and shape the community around them in extraordinary ways.
It is to mention here that one of the flagship programmes ‘SAATH’ was launched by the Lieutenant Governor on September 1, 2021 to help rural women become self-reliant.
JKRLM had initiated a comprehensive mentoring programme under “SAATH programme” for selected SHG members, who have set up enterprises under the SAATH Programme.
“SHG members are exposed to numerous marketing techniques as part of the programme, which will help them transform their present businesses into well-established large corporations. In order to scale up their production and company management, SHG entrepreneurs are given training in value adds, marketing, branding, forward linkages, sales, and business management.
Similarly, for young ambitious women, Tesjaswani scheme’ was launched by the Government which provides financial assistance for setting up gainful self-employment ventures, suited to their skills, training, aptitude and local conditions.
Tejaswini scheme provides financial assistance to the young women of 18 to 35 years of age.
“Under the scheme, female entrepreneurs are facilitated to avail financial assistance under Mudra from J&K Bank to the extent of Rs 5 lakh. Mission Youth J&K is also providing an amount of Rs 50,000 or 10% of project cost as upfront subsidy. Besides, an interest subsidy up to 60 thousand rupees is also being sponsored by the government as a special incentive thus making repayment of loan technically interest free for the young female entrepreneurs who apply for assistance under the scheme,” the official said.
The scheme intends to provide assistance to all eligible young women who are domiciles of J&K and have a qualification of matriculation and above. It also caters to enterprises where women entrepreneurs hold not less than 50% of financial holding, besides providing assistance to set up women centric businesses and micro start-ups.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had also launched the “HAUSLA- inspiring her growth”, a comprehensive programme for catalysing women entrepreneurship in the UT.
In addition to this, the official said, the ‘Spurring Entrepreneurship Initiative’ programme is built on the idea of the Youth Enterprise with Innovation (YouWiN) and Champion for Innovation initiative, which aims to inspire young people, especially young women, to start and grow innovative businesses.
Besides, in the past few years, a number of initiatives have been taken for holistic development and empowerment of women.
It is to mention here that the Government of India implements various schemes / programmes for welfare of women/ girls in which community participation plays an important role.
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) mandates that at least one third of the jobs generated under the scheme (MGNREGS) should be given to women.
National Agriculture Market or e-NAM, an online trading platform for agricultural commodities is helping women overcome or compensate for the barriers they face in accessing markets. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is playing a significant role to uplift women cooperatives as large number of women are engaged and involved in cooperatives dealing with activities related to food grain processing, plantation crops, oilseeds processing, fisheries, dairy & livestock, spinning mills, handloom and power loom weaving, Integrated Cooperative Development Projects, etc.
Other schemes include Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP), Samagra Shiksha, Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojna, Swacch Vidyalaya Mission, Swachchh Bharat Mission, etc. In order to enhance the employability of female workers, the Government is providing training to them through a network of Women Industrial Training institutes, National Vocational Training Institutes and Regional Vocational Training Institutes. To ensure economic independence of women through skill development and vocational training, the Government has also introduced the Skill India Mission.
The Anganwadi Services under Mission Poshan 2.0 is a universal scheme under which pregnant women and lactating mothers are eligible for the services including the Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP). For partial compensation of wages and for promoting health seeking behavior among pregnant women and lactating mothers, Government has implemented Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) which aims to promote appropriate practice, care and institutional service utilization during pregnancy, delivery and lactation by providing cash incentives in Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode to pregnant and lactating mothers. Benefits have been extended to over 3.20 crore women through this scheme.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development implements ‘Mission Shakti’, an Integrated Women Empowerment Programme, as Umbrella Scheme for the Safety, Security and Empowerment of Women.
Besides this the Jammu and Kashmir Government has also launched various schemes and policies to meet the aspirations of youth so that they can contribute to society and achieve self-growth.(KNS)

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