Srinagar: In a historic effort aimed at harnessing the energy, enthusiasm, and exuberant dreams of the Women of Jammu & Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Tuesday launched the “HAUSLA- inspiring her growth”, a comprehensive programme for Catalysing Women Entrepreneurship in the UT, here at SKICC Srinagar.
Terming the event as the beginning of a new era in women entrepreneurship, the Lt Governor said that women of Jammu and Kashmir are capable of achieving great heights in every field and history is replete with great women leaders from J&K.
“There is no field- political, social or economic in which the women of Jammu and Kashmir haven’t earned accolades and prestige. The social status of women in the society of Jammu and Kashmir was much better than other parts of the country even several centuries ago”, added the Lt Governor.
The intent of the innovative initiative is to empower Women as vital drivers of the overall development process in the UT by identifying & empowering Women Entrepreneurs as role models, providing them with markets, networks, training & continuous support and subsequently building an ecosystem to inspire other local women entrepreneurs.
Speaking on the significance of “Hausla”, the Lt Governor said that program has been made in a very scientific way and the broad contours include targeting Women entrepreneurs of J&K already established in the field of self-employment, Creating a channel for educated women to explore their potential and subsequently channelize their business acumen, helping them overcome challenges related to finances, legal, societal biases by focusing on their innate potential. In addition, there shall be dissemination of knowledge about promotion policies of Governments for women entrepreneurs and providing access to enterprise education and training with focus on business development, besides linkages to women enterprise networks, associations, business premises and online marketplaces.
The Lt Governor said that the priority of the government is to reduce the gap between women and men entrepreneurs, in a systematic manner and to encourage women who are currently engaged in various professions, so that they too can become a part of ‘Hausla’ program.
“With the launch of “HAUSLA” a strong foundation has been set for the economic and social independence for our daughters and sisters. I am sure that a new eco-system of women entrepreneurs will be created in J&K”, he added.
“The vision of Industrialization and IT Transformation we are working on will enable women of J&K to run and develop their enterprises so that they become an integral part of the overall development of J&K”, maintained the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor underscored that the government is continuously working on the “Three Pillars of Action” viz. Making women financially independent, Ensuring their maximum participation in leadership role, and Paying special attention to their health and socio-economic security.
“I believe that through skill and blended training under Hausla program the participation of Women can be increased in IT, Telemedicine, e-learning Business, Fashion Designing, Painting, Publishing, Handicrafts, Food Processing, and e-Commerce”, he added.
He noted that with the right training, financial assistance and self-confidence, we can take revolutionary steps towards empowering women.
It was informed that under the leadership of JKTPO and in collaboration with Industry stakeholders and India SME Forum, a not-for-profit organization for Small & Medium Enterprises, the first batch of ‘HAUSLA’ 5-months program with 100 women entrepreneurs on board will start from July this year, giving wings to women entrepreneurs to fly higher, make their own identity in business and promote their products.
Mentioning the significant role of women from the region like Bimla Koul, the first woman who took admission in SP college in Sringar in 1931 and others including Mrs. Kanta Wazir, Dr. Girija, and Dr. Mahmuda Shah who displayed great strength and played important role in keeping the people together, the Lt Governor said that on 5th August 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave back all their rights and respect to women and that golden era is coming back again.
Recalling the convocation ceremony of Islamic University of Science and Technology, the Lt Governor said that of the 158 gold medalists, 105 were girls and in every department, be it engineering, science, food technology, computer applications, they performed exceptionally well.
Referring to the “Time Use Survey Report” of the Central Government, the Lt Governor said that in our country, despite the household chores, women, our Nari Shakti, are also the strong base of the economy.
Emphasizing the need to bring women at par with men in ownership of business establishments, the Lt Governor said that there are some statistics which need to be changed. According to 6th Economic Survey, out of all the industrial establishments in the country, only 13.41% of the ownership is with women. Even in handicrafts and handloom establishments, in which women play the most important role, the percentage of ownership of women was 21.89%, compared to 77.74% for men.
The Lt Governor said that the objective of ‘Hausla Team’ in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir Administration and our Industry and India SME Forum under the leadership of JKTPO is to reduce the gap of women ownership in business establishments.
The Lt Governor highlighted the inspiring story of Asma, Srinagar-based IT entrepreneur, who caters to local as well as global clients. He also informed about Ms Zarka Tanzeel of Budgam, who is the first woman entrepreneur from Kashmir division to launch Sheen brand detergent powder and became a role model for other girls.
For encouraging women for innovations in different fields from handicrafts to IT and making their products available in market, the Lt Governor directed the ‘Mission Youth’ and ‘Hausla Team’ and J&K Rural Livelihood Mission (RLM) to jointly start a program called “Champion for Innovation” as training module. Through this, obstacles being faced by our girls in innovation, in becoming entrepreneurs in technology, can also be studied and overcome.
The Lt Governor stressed on four basic mantras viz. Robust policy, Right channel, Active participation and Effective implementation for achieving greater results in all our plans.
“Today when the aspirations of the people have increased, especially when women want to move ahead in every field, then it is our responsibility to provide them with the right platform”, observed the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor congratulated Ranjan Thakur, Principal Secretary Industries; Ankita Kar, Managing Director, J&K Trade Promotion Organisation, and Bharatendu Verma of IIM Ahmedabad who with his entire team have worked on the ‘Hausla’ scheme for women entrepreneurs and aspiring women of J&K.
The Lt Governor also congratulated Shahid Choudhary, CEO, Mission Youth and said that the Tejaswini scheme which was announced in March and suffered slight delay due to Corona is also formally launched today.
On the occasion dedicated to women, the Lt Governor also saluted all those women who have done amazing work in the health sector with their great strength, service, and hard work. “Doctors, Nurses, ASHA, Anganwadi, ANM workers have selflessly served the people of J&K for more than a year. From saving lives in clinical management to providing protection through vaccination, their contribution will be written in history”, he added.
On the occasion, Neetu Bali and Atiqa Wani, women entrepreneurs from Jammu and Kulgam respectively shared their journey into entrepreneurship.
The Lt Governor also interacted with the women entrepreneurs present on the occasion and wished them success for their future endeavours.
Baseer Khan, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, while addressing the gathering termed the event as another milestone in J&K and maintained that it will usher in a new dawn of empowerment and socio-economic upliftment of women from J&K. He said that the ‘Hausla’ programme would not only skyrocket the local economy of the UT but will also generate employment avenues for the local population.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, speaking on the occasion said that JK economy is changing rapidly and in next 5 years it will be doubled. He observed that the completion of projects like Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and the Railway line will give fillip to the economy of J&K. He said that women are as much partners in economic activities as their counterparts and there are no limits for women entrepreneurships.
Ranjan Prakash Thakur, Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce, also spoke on the occasion and hoped that the programmes like ‘Hausla’ will further empower the women of the UT as the region has huge potential with strong willed women folk.
While speaking on the occasion, Vinod Kumar, President India SME Forum, highlighted the achievements and role of the forum with respect in providing a vibrant ecosystem for women entrepreneurs of the country and added that around 7000 women entrepreneurs are being supported by the forum.
Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Dr. Syed Sehrish Asgar Mission Director Rural Livelihood Mission; HoDs and officers from I&C Department, Handloom, Handicrafts besides dynamic women entrepreneurs of Jammu & Kashmir were present on the occasion.
Dr. Heena Shafi Bhat, Vice Chairperson, KVIB; RK Chibber Chairman-cum-Managing Director, J&K Bank; Sushma Morthania, Founder & Director General, India SME Forum and partners from e-Commerce platforms and private sector were also present on the occasion.