Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the progress of Umeed Scheme launched in the State recently describing it an effective means to empower women and help them earn independent livelihood besides participating in the socio-economic betterment of women constituting 50 percent of the population.
According to a government press release, addressing a large gathering of beneficiaries of Umeed after interacting with the group leaders of various groups organized under this Scheme here, the Chief Minister said that welfare of women is imperative for the holistic development of the society. He said the development is lopsided without the welfare of women.
Omar Abdullah said that involvement of women at grass root levels to transform the socio-economic status of women and open new windows for women development could be achieved through programmes like Umeed. He stressed the need for bringing more and more women under its fold and organizing their groups to work in unity to seek welfare and fight social evils.
The Chief Minister said that after ensuring participation of women in Panchayat elections by making reservation for them, the Umeed Scheme is yet another imitative aimed at empowerment and welfare of the women particularly living in villages. He said that he was happy to see the enthusiasm in women to participate in socio-economic welfare schemes to earn respectable livelihood and create a society free from evils and atrocities.
Omar Abdullah said that it is highly encouraging that Umeed programme has rooted fast in the State, and in a shortest period of six months its impact is amply visible on ground. He said the organization of Self Help Groups to jointly seek redressal of difficulties confronting women in villages and participating in economic activities provided under Umeed would give new impetus to the empowerment of women.
Omar Abdullah asked the women to utilize the power provided by his government to the people to ask questions to the government about all its actions. He also mentioned the initiative of Public Services Guarantee Act and stressed the need for taking its advantage to obtain listed public services within the fixed timeframe.
The Chief Minister expressed gratitude to Prime Minister and Union Minister for extending Umeed Scheme to all the blocks of the State. He said that during the next five years all the 143 blocks of the State would be covered under Umeed.
Rolled out in 2013-14, Lar, Khansahib, Chenani and Basohli blocks were covered under resource block strategy in the first go of the programme. These blocks have been divided into six clusters. As many as 923 groups have been formed in the two resource blocks of Jammu division and 891 groups opened their bank accounts. In Kashmir division, 483 groups have been formed and all of these have been opened at their Bank accounts.
Under Umeed 22 blocks, one each from each district would be developed as resource blocks in the first two years. In 2013-14 as many as nine blocks would be developed as under resource block strategy. The four blocks already been taken up and five new blocks including one from Leh are being taken up shortly. As many as 23040 families have been covered under Umeed and the number of benefiting families will touch 9, 00000 lakhs-figure during the next five years.