The Ministry of Rural Development is giving skills training and fostering self-employment through the development of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in remote regions of Budhal block in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district in an effort to empower women.
The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India, aimed at reducing poverty by strengthening poor institutions, particularly women's institutions, and enabling them to access a variety of financial services. Block Programme Manager Kamran Hanif, speaking to ANI, stated, "We help these women to avail social security schemes in the form of pensions, insurance and others. Apart from that, we also provide loans and help them to connect with banks. We also promote their livelihoods to increase their income."
According to Hanif, the Budhal block contains six clusters and 760 SHGs in total. "SHGs are comprised of 5,500 women who are affiliated with us. They are taught skills such as cutting, tailoring, and embroidery," he noted. The DAY-NRLM takes a demand-driven strategy, allowing governments to develop their own poverty reduction action programmes. SHGs are encouraged to boost self-employment, and the components of DAY-NRLM are implemented by State Rural Livelihoods Missions (SRLMs) or partner institutions or NGOs.
Women's SHGs under the DAY-NRLM programme are comprised of 10-20 people. Differently-abled people, elders, transgender people, and those from distant tribal communities are all included in special SHGs. The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has a Revolving Fund that provides financial assistance to SHGs (RF). Regular meetings, frequent deposits, regular internal lending, regular recoveries, and the maintenance of adequate books of accounts are all required by SHGs. The Community Investment Support Fund (CIF) is also available for the SHGs promoted under DAY-NRLM. To provide loans to SHGs or to perform joint and communal socio-economic activities, the CIF is channelled through village and cluster level federations. If an SHG needs additional funds for economic activity, it would be linked with banks and given loans ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 20 lakh with no collateral.
Also, the Jammu and Kashmir government is conducting handicraft centres in the Rajouri district's border areas through various self-help groups in an effort to empower women. Twenty girls are currently undergoing advanced training for a period of two years in one such centre in Nalli village of Manjakote block in Rajouri district. The girls that participate in the training are mainly from low-income families and lack sufficient formal education for a variety of reasons. They are learning a new skill that will help them grow as individuals through a centre like this.