Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Shri Thongam Biswajit Singh said that empowering womenfolk will improve socio-economic status of families in rural areas. The Minister was speaking in an observance of Azaadi Ka Amrit Mohotsav at Uchekon Nongpok Community Hall, Kongba Khunou Awang Leikai, Thongju, Imphal East. The observation was organised by the Block Resource Centre-Start Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP), Keirao Bitra Block, Imphal East, under the Manipur State Rural Livelihood Mission, Manipur.
As part of the observation, 44 Self Help Groups were provided loans and a cash award of Rs 1 lakh for the best performing SHG Award was also conferred to a group from Sawombung Block, today.
Speaking as the Chief Guest of the observation, the Minister said that establishing Self Help Groups in rural areas aims to strengthen women empowerment. This will eliminate unemployment and enhance socio-economic status of the people in rural areas, he added.
The Minister also said that above all the support and help from the government and others, sustenance and strengthening of the SHGs depend entirely on the determination and hard work of the members alone.
Further showing support to the young entrepreneurs of the State, Shri Biswajit expressed that an entrepreneur can help in generating employment in our society.
Speaking on the issue of training under capacity building for SHGs under different departments, he said that these trainings will enhance the value of their products in the market. He further expressed the need to look into the issue of lack of a platform to sell their products demoralizing the members of SHG.
Shri Biswajit also talked about the Mission for Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisans & Craftsmen (MEETAC) and its importance for the SHGs. He asked the SHG members to contact MEETAC and to look for ways to enhance the value of their products.
He explained the need for bringing a balanced development in the State.
Further speaking on the observance of the Azaadi ka Amrit Mohotsav, he said that the department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has taken up various developmental activities including tree plantation drives as part of the observation.
He said that the Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is a country-wide campaign and we need to convert it into a Jan Andolan or mass movement. He said such small changes in the local level can contribute in bringing a significant national gain.
Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of Independence of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.
It may be mentioned that ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ has been inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi by flagging off ‘Dandi March’ from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujarat on 12th March, 2021. The Mahotsav will continue till August 15, 2023.
Today’s observation was also attended by Uchekon Nongpok GP Pradhan Shri Nongmaithem Jadumani Singh, Block Resource Centre president Smt. Lourembam Suni Devi among others.