Social Welfare Minister, Sakina Itoo, who is also the Chairman JK WDC, inaugurated a 10 day exhibition at Jammu, today. Being sponsored by National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC), the exhibition has been organized by J&K State Women Corporation with an objective to provide market support to the beneficiaries besides helping them learn market trends and get required exposure.As many as 40 stalls have been established by 80 beneficiaries of different Self Help Groups from almost all the districts of the State including Rajouri, Poonch, Pulwama, Baramulla, Kulgam, Shopian, Kishtwar, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Doda etc.
The Minister also distributed loan Cheques worth Rs. 80 lakh among 48 beneficiaries besides giving certificates of appreciation to the various entrepreneurs. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister informed that the JKWDC has disbursed Rs. 75 crore among 10236 beneficiaries across the State. Besides, the Corporation has also disbursed Rs. 31.06 lakh among 2980 beneficiaries, after supply of 2.50 lakh jute bags to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
Appreciating the WDC for organizing the event, the Minister said that such efforts would go a long way in educating the women about the schemes meant for their socio-economic emancipation besides giving them much needed exposure and marketing support. “Gone are the days when women were confined to the four walls of the house. The women today are equally participating in every sphere of life”, she maintained. She, however, expressed concern that the women especially tribals and those living in inaccessible parts of the state are still not being covered under such schemes and asked the officers to expand their network to such unattended areas also.Spelling out the achievements of the department, the Minister extolled that for the first time, the government has sanctioned Rs. 12.50 lakh for women under SKEWPY. She said under the stewardship of Omar Abdullah, the department is according focused attention to empower women socially, economically and politically particularly those belonging to poor and under privileged sections of the society by launching several innovative social welfare programmes.
Sakina also stressed upon the need of promoting female education in rural and far off areas, describing it essential for women empowerment. She appealed that the women to go for education which is being ensured under different government schemes without any hesitation as age should not be a bar to learn.She asked the beneficiaries to adopt self-employment ventures in Agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture and other vital sectors instead of confining themselves to only conventional sectors.She lauded the WDC officers for their earnest efforts in implementing the women development schemes successfully, expressing hope that they will carry forward their noble services with the same spirit. Among others present were Director, Social Welfare, Jammu, MD, SC&ST Corporation, Director Handicrafts, Mission Director, Women Empowerment, Director Tribal Affairs, Social activists Indu Rathore and Nasreen Khan besides other senior officers of the department and Corporation.