The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan on Saturday directed concerned officers to involve a maximum number of youth and women while creating new Self Help Groups (SHGs) as it is a pre-requisite for poverty reduction and women empowerment.
He stressed on the need to make Self Help Groups (SHGs) economically more viable, sustainable so that they can create good employment opportunities.
The Divisional Commissioner made these directions while reviewing the performance and progress of J&K State Rural Livelihoods Mission in the Kashmir Division.
The meeting was informed that 21362 SHGs are functioning with 1.83 lakh members in 1949 Village Organizations (VOs) across the valley.
It was further informed that UMEED has been instrumental in providing jobs and has acted as a bridge between the Valley youth and financial institutions to get a sustainable livelihood. It was revealed that scores of youth were able to get dignified livelihoods by means of loans which their mothers/sisters receive through UMEED SHGs. This has not only resulted in the overall socio-economic upliftment of the poor families but also ensured that the dropout vulnerable youth could find dignified options for running their lives.
Few examples quoted during the meeting regarding the livelihoods which youth have been able to acquire by virtue of UMEED intervention were commercial vehicles, Gym centre, and petty shops, manufacturing units like cricket bat making, joinery units, tailoring and fashion designing units. The meeting was informed that to upscale the earnings of rural women, Automatic Milk Collection Centres have been established in collaboration with J&K Milk Producers Cooperative Limited.
The Divisional Commissioner directed concerned officers to collect details with regard to specified areas in every district for youth and women folk especially in the sectors of agriculture, horticulture, cooperative societies, educational academies and coaching centres, sports academies and send a report to the Divisional Commissioner’s office within a fortnight. He said the report would help in providing youth and women-oriented Self Help Groups especially in South Kashmir districts and Downtown area of Srinagar with the technical, financial support besides market availability.
Khan reiterated that government will reach out to all unemployed youth and women folk to link them with sustainable livelihoods opportunities and nurture them till they come out of poverty and enjoy a decent quality of life. The concerned departments play an important role to provide technical support to all SHGs for providing the livelihoods services and sustaining the livelihoods outcomes subsequently.
Additional Commissioner Kashmir Tasaduq Hussain Mir, Mission Director J&K State Rural Livelihoods Mission, Directors of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Handloom, Rural Development, Joint Directors of Handicrafts, Horticulture, Assistant Commissioner (central) and other senior officers were present in the meeting.