Stepping further towards emancipating women as a self reliant member of the society, the Jammu and Kashmir government has roped in women Self Help Groups to operate canteens at government offices under the J&K Rural Livelihoods Mission.
In a first, the Kashmir State Taxes Department, Kashmir, has commenced such canteen facility from its main complex at Excise and Taxation Complex, Solina which was inaugurated by Commissioner Secretary Rural Development Department and Panchayati Raj, Mandeep Kour in presence of Commissioner State Taxes, J&K, Dr Rashmi Singh.
The space and infrastructure for running the canteen has been provided by the department while the services are to be managed by a team of eight members of different Self Help Groups from Ganderbal district under UMEED scheme of National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Department of Rural Development.
Mandeep Kour, while terming the move an encouraging initiative towards women empowerment, appreciated the efforts of Mission Director J&K RLM and officers of State Taxes department for facilitating the Self Help Groups earn their livelihood through such initiatives.
She highlighted that the new canteen, being run by women Self Help Group, set up in the department will become a role model for similar canteens in other districts and government departments.
Dr. Rashmi Singh, while interacting with the members of Self Help Groups, highlighted that collaboration on one hand fulfils the need of the department by making available affordable and hygienic food options within the complex to its employees besides boosting microenterprises being set up by women belonging to economically weaker sections of the society on the other hand.
It is worthwhile to mention that these women Self Help Groups are being identified by RDD & PR under UMEED and are being trained professionally so that the members become confident in shouldering the responsibility in a professional manner.
Self Help Group members expressed gratitude to the administration for giving them an opportunity of their engagement with a government department, for the first time, to manage an in house canteen. They assured that they will meet the set standards of quality, taste and hygiene.