In the Kupwara region of Jammu & Kashmir, a qualitative change is being brought about by Women Self Help Groups (SHGs). Atqueeta Wani- a Cluster Coordinator says, SHGs help to erase poverty from the lives of poor women. Through SHGs, poor households can access gainful self-employment. A team had come to Kupwara in 2016 and told us to join UMEED, the government scheme that assists rural women to become financially independent. Today, Nageena Akhter is earning her livelihood as a ‘Pashu Sakhi’. After joining this scheme, we women folk, got a lot of courage. We are able to voice our opinion and we can take loans without fear. Another beneficiary Afrooza Sadiq, who is working as a ‘Bank Sakhi’ says it is accepted that a man can do business. After associating with this scheme, we also feel courageous enough to start our own business. In our SHGs we make the bolder women our leaders who work as President, Secretary and Treasurer. With the support coming from UMEED, we also feel like doing something worthy of our own.
Taja Begum is a member of a SHG managing a dairy farm. She works with Afrooza and team and says, this has given us a lot of benefits. This is possible only when we complete our studies. So this is our plea to all our sisters and mothers – stand on your own two feet and earn from your homes.
UMEED scheme is under DAY-NRLM, Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana (Aajeevika) – National Rural Livelihood Mission, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. DAY-NRLM is committed to helping the rural poor become self-employed through SHGs.
News Desk, Kashmir Ahead