Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, while virtually addressing the Self Help Groups (SHGs) of the State from Shimla today, said that the Self Help Groups could play a vital role in helping the families with Covid patients. He said that in case of all the family members of a house get infected, the SHG could play a vital role in helping such families in looking after their livestock, farm activities etc. He also appreciated the initiatives taken by the SHGs to supplement their income. He said that the State Government would provide all possible help to promote the products prepared by the SHGs so that they can get better market to their products.Jai Ram Thakur said that ‘Mukhyamantri Ek Bigha Yojna’ has proved a boon to the rural women in increasing their farm income. He said that under this scheme any woman of Self Help Group can avail the benefit of this scheme upto Rs. one lakh provided she holds MNREGA job card. He said that since the inception of this scheme, 10364 works have been sanctioned in favour of women and expenditure of Rs. 13.90 crore has been incurred. He said that this scheme has particularly helped the rural women during the corona pandemic. He said that the SHGs must also come forward to help the migrant labourers at the time of this pandemic as they could face difficulty in getting employment due to the corona curfew.Chief Minister said that since the women constitute about half the population, thus one cannot even think of overall development of the society without active participation of the women. He said that it was the BJP Government in the State, that fifty per cent reservation had been provided to the women in PRIs and Urban Local Bodies. He said that in the recently concluded elections to the PRIs and ULBs, as many as 60 per cent seats were won by the women. He said that the women SHGs have not only strengthened the economy of the rural women, but have also strengthened the rural economy as a whole.
He said that this has gone a long way in ensuring the empowerment of the women.Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government would provide all possible help to the SHGs in promoting their products and also providing them a better market to their produce so that they could get remunerative price of their products. He said that the State was today passing through a difficult phase of Covid. He said that in this testing time it becomes duty of every citizen to help the people in distress. He said that the women Self Help Groups must come forward to extend helping hand to the families having Covid patients. He said that women should also play a vital role in educating the people of the rural areas regarding the SOPs and guidelines issued by the State Government from time to time. He said that the women could also play a major role in motivating the people for maintaining social distancing in social and religious functions.Chief Minister urged the SHGs to come forward to motivate the people to postpone the celebrations related to local deities and religious functions. He said that Self Help Groups must also help the people in providing facemasks and sanitizers to the needy in the hour of distress.Kamlesh Kumari of Shiv Shambhu Self Help Group Sadar Mandi block in Mandi district, Soma Devi of Aprajita SHG, Seraj block, district Mandi, Promila Kalia of Aanya SHG Haroli block district Una, Mandasi of Lahaul Spiti, Reena Chandel of New Aajivika Nadaun block, Hamirpur and Usha of Panchveer SHG Naggar block, district Kullu, shared their views on the occasion.Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar also shared his views on the occasion. Director Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Lalit Jain while welcoming the Chief Minister conducted the proceedings of the meeting.Advisor to the Chief Minister Dr. R.N. Batta, Secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Sandeep Bhatnagar and other senior officers were present with the Chief Minister at Shimla.