The government has taken various measures to empower women in urban as well as rural areas so that women can live a better life by becoming self-employed.

Jammu and Kashmir National Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKNRLM) – Umeed is such a scheme that aims to reduce poverty by building strong grassroots institutions for the poor, engaging them in livelihood opportunities and ensuring sustainable improvement in their earnings. NRLM scheme has been started in the country in June 2011. However, after the year 2019, the government started a large-scale campaign to bring the scheme door-to-door. Effective results are being obtained and women in every panchayat are adopting this scheme better by forming separate groups. Dahi women, who had to do household chores in the villages and have gradually become self-employed and have started to set up small business units.

Yasmina Jan, a woman from Aorigund, a remote village of Tral area in South Kashmir, has become the first dry fruit seller in Tral by the JKNRLM scheme. The woman entrepreneur has set up JK Umeed Foods, a wholesale store of dry fruits, spices and pulses that supplies walnuts, almonds and other spices and pulses to vendors in the area and beyond.

Yasmina said she was the “first” woman in Tral to venture into the dry fruits and spices trade. Now she wants to scale her business and add a food processing unit to make different types of pickles.

“I have started this business and have been delivering the products manufactured here to the shopkeepers with the help of a salesman. The positive attitude of the shopkeepers and others has made me think about expanding my business. Now I want to make more items including different types of pickles,” she said.

She said many people do not know about her business and she is trying to reach out to more people through social media.

“WhatsApp groups, statuses and Instagram are currently working here. I hope if there is a better advertisement, there are chances of much development,” she said.

Yasmina, who originally belongs to Soura area of Srinagar city and married to Aorigund village. She said she learnt marketing skills from her father and utilised the knowledge in her business.

She said her husband and in-laws encouraged her to set up the business.

She said, “I applied for the registration of my business through the Jammu Kashmir National Rural Livelihood Mission under which I got financial assistance. “

“I have applied for a loan so that I can buy machinery for food processing,” she said.

Notably, Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission and e-commerce company “Meesho” signed a memorandum of understanding to support 18,000 Self Help Groups and promote their businesses. (ANI)

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