Describing comprehensive development of women essentially important to build a healthy, progressive and prosperous society, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday said that growth will be lopsided if women are not fully under its focus.
Addressing the beneficiaries of UMEED in Chenani, this afternoon, the Chief Minister said that empowerment of women is key to solve various issues confronting them and evolving a mechanism to ensure their holistic development in the society.
Omar Abdullah said that his government is fully aware of addressing women issues in a befitting manner and various measures have been initiated in this direction besides effecting reservation of women in Panchayat Raj Institutions. He said while women welfare is under focus through various schemes being implemented by the Social Welfare Department, the healthcare issues of women and children are looked after across the State through the schemes carried forward by the Health Department.
The Chief Minister said that under UMEED 9 lakh women belonging to poor and vulnerable rural households have been targeted to be helped and empowered economically and socially. “We have targeted to organize 90,000 women savings and credit based Self-Help Groups and their federations at village and block levels to address their socio-economic problems and empower them to overcome all difficulties”, he said and added that under a phased implementation approach 143 Blocks and 4098 Gram Panchayats would be covered under the UMEED programme during next five years. He said 8 districts are being covered in the first year and 14 districts in the second year.
The Chief Minister said that UMEED would provide the most needed platform for universal social mobilization of the poor woman and put them on the path of economic recovery and redemption of the poverty. He said Lar in Ganderbal, Khan Sahib in Budgam, Chenani in Udhampur and Basholi in Kathua have already been brought under UMEED as Resource Blocks while 121 Blocks will be covered by Community Resource Persons from the Resource Blocks. The estimated outlay for UMEED is Rs. 755 crore to be shared by the Centre and the State Governments in the ratio of 90:10. An amount of Rs. 248 crores will be made available to Self-Help Group Members as Seed Capital in 5 years.
The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the pace of progress of UMEED and hoped that the programme would get further fillip in the coming years. “I have witnessed the enthusiasm and bravery in the women of Jammu and Kashmir and the fast progress of UMEED and dedication of its Members and the government officials associated with it is indicative of the bright success of this programme in the State. I see in you the will to realize the goals and your pursuit in this direction is highly encouraging”, he told UMEED Members and wished them success and progress.
Omar Abdullah assured his government’s full support for further strengthening the UMEED programme in the State. He asked the women to get associated with this scheme to get their economic conditions improved. He also advised the beneficiaries of UMEED to get fully acquainted with various schemes available for the socio-economic upliftment of people in rural areas and get benefits out of these in the best possible ways.