Rural women self-help groups (SHGs) are major change agents that play an important role in empowering the lives of rural and tribal women, said Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje."These rural women self-help-groups act as catalysts of change and bring socio-economic empowerment and make these rural women independent and confident," Raje said at an award function here Thursday. The chief minister was speaking at the 'Sakhi' award function organised by Vedanta Group firm Hindustan Zinc. Raje, who was the chief guest at the event, stressed upon the need for online marketing of products made by rural women under the 'Sakhi' campaign.
"The products of these women entrepreneurs should be sold online. This would encourage buyers across the world and the economic condition of these rural women will further improve," she said.Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal spoke about the campaign and promised to bring more women into the "Sakhi" network to improve their social and economic condition. He said: "Chief Minister (Raje) is the biggest 'Sakhi' and her inspiration and advice would keep this momentum alive."
Hindustan Zinc has engaged rural women through SHGs since 2006. Each group has about 12-15 rural women and they are being developed as rural women entrepreneurs, who are now managing their own micro-enterprises. The initiative has led to formation of 475 SHGs in Rajasthan, reaching out to 6,000 rural and tribal women. The company said the SHG training starts with teaching the participants about thrift savings, linking them with banks and then segregating them as per their interests for extensive vocational training in the farm and non-farm based sectors.