Srinagar: Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today held interactions with a number of women entrepreneurs of Jammu and Kashmir at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre.
The interaction programme included over 60 women entrepreneurs from J&K working in a variety of sectors, including beekeeping, dairy, handicraft, journalism, copper works, and furniture manufacturing, among others. The event featured success stories of women entrepreneurs from across J&K who have been benefited under different schemes initiated by the J&K administration.
The Union Finance Minister lauded the efforts of LG administration for creating a successful women Entrepreneurship culture in J&K which is unique among the country. She said it is encouraging to see that the women entrepreneurs here are in such fields which were not taken by many and were usually male dominated.
During the interaction, the Union Finance Minister listened to the inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs in J&K and how they rose above the challenges to benefit their society at the grassroots level. "The land of Kashmir is the land of Maa Sharada and that absolute power-packed knowledge-driven energy is what has come out here. I appeal to you to move around the country and share your stories", she remarked.
She also encouraged the women entrepreneurs and the Mission Director, RLM to prepare a detailed plan, after threadbare consultations, on how they could be facilitated in a much better way. She said the action plan can further be incorporated in the next budget.
On the occasion, LG Sinha highlighted the key initiatives initiated by the administration for supporting women entrepreneurs under different schemes, commensurate with their educational background and experience.
Sinha observed that the culture and tradition of our country considers women to be a form of power and in J&K, we have ensured that women rise as a beacon of enlightenment and become vital drivers in the developmental journey of J&K.
“It has always been my firm belief that the contribution of women in economic activities is by no means less and there will be many examples where their contribution is much more than that of men," he asserted.
Sinha noted that the administration is empowering women entrepreneurs through a slew of focused programs such as 'UMEED’, ‘SAATH’ and ‘HAUSLA'. Through these programs a new confidence, a new spirit is being created by making them more capable so that half of the population can play their constructive role in the journey of J&K’s progress, he said.
“Today, 54,325 Self-Help Groups have been formed under the UMEED program to empower women in rural areas to become financially independent and more than 4.5 lakh women have been associated with it. I am very happy that financial assistance of about rupees 1000 Crores has been provided to the women entrepreneurs of UMEED Self Help Group, which will strengthen their business”, the Lt Governor observed.
He further stated that keeping in mind the success of the UMEED program, this year we have set a target of connecting One lakh additional rural women to this program. Along with this, J&K Livelihood Mission has launched 'SAATH' initiative, under which a training programme has also been started to select 500 women entrepreneurs from rural areas to expand their business.
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