Women Empowerment in Naya Kashmir

Date:

Paving the Way for Progress and Equality

ARJUMAND WANI

SRINAGAR, July 28: A profound transformation is taking place in J&K as women of “Naya Jammu and Kashmir” rise to embrace empowerment and rewrite their destinies. Through concerted efforts and targeted initiatives, the Government of India has been fostering women’s political, social, educational, and economic advancement in the region, enabling them to become the trailblazers of achievement.

Over the past few years, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has been working diligently to create an inclusive ecosystem that nurtures the potential of both genders. The focus on women’s participation and development in all facets of life has been the cornerstone of these efforts.

One inspiring success story is that of Madiha Talat, a successful entrepreneur hailing from the Peerbagh area in central Kashmir’s Srinagar. With the assistance and guidance of the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Madiha cultivated lavender plants and extracted oil from these herbs. Utilizing the lavender oil, she began manufacturing organic skincare products, which not only empowered her economically but also granted her independence. She attributed her achievements to the government’s steadfast commitment to empowering women in Kashmir.

Another shining example is Zamrooda Ali, lauded by Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha in the ‘Awaam ki Awaaz’ program for her commendable role in the conduct of the third Khelo India National Winter Games. Zamrooda has become a successful businesswoman and a prominent craftsperson. At her residence in Badamwari, Srinagar, she established a crewel embroidery training center, imparting valuable skills to aspiring women entrepreneurs.

The government has implemented several programs like Saath, Umeed, Mumkin, Hausla, and Tejaswani to foster economic and social independence among women in J&K. Additionally, the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM) has been instrumental in transforming the lives of numerous rural women through the creation of 48,000 self-help groups (SHGs) across the Union Territory.

Hajira, a mother of four from the Sempora neighborhood of Zaingeer in northern Kashmir, demonstrated remarkable empowerment through her efficient management of the first-ever mushroom unit in the area. Hajira’s success story is a testament to the government’s unwavering support in making her dreams a reality. She advises young women not to be disheartened by the lack of conventional employment opportunities and to seize the chance to create their own businesses.

Nuzhat Qazi and Insha Mir, two enterprising female entrepreneurs, recently received financial support of Rs. 50 lakhs and Rs. 25 lakhs, respectively, from the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) and Startup India. This substantial investment showcases the immense potential and innovative spirit of women in the region, providing them with the means to realize their creative ideas and expand their businesses.

Recognizing the need to preserve the traditional pashmina shawl craft, which faces challenges from mass-produced replicas, the government initiated a program to train over 200 women in the use of modified charkhas in the past two years. Nusrat Begum, a beneficiary of this training from the Downtown area of Srinagar, expressed her gratitude, stating that her spinning output doubled after the transition from a traditional charkha to a chair-mounted one.

Since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, the J&K Government has been dedicated to enhancing the lives of women and empowering them to compete on an equal footing with men across all sectors. Government-sponsored educational initiatives have opened doors for women to compete on par with men, and self-employment programs have fostered self-sufficiency. Furthermore, reservations in government positions have been provided to help women achieve equality.

As the women of Naya Kashmir continue to shatter glass ceilings and embrace empowerment, they are redefining the region’s narrative. The concerted efforts of the government and the determination of these women are transforming Kashmir into a beacon of progress and equality, setting an example for the world to follow.

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