Dr Sehrish opens workshop for SAATH intermediaries
After being inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor in the first week of this month, Mission Director, JKRLM, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar today opened the workshop for officials implementing the “SAATH” program here.
The “SAATH” initiative is a rural business acceleration program for women in J&K Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Under the program, intermediaries and potential entrepreneurs would initially be trained to take their business to the next level of success.
On occasion, MD, JKRLM said that the intention and purpose of the program is for rural women to benefit tremendously. She said this new initiative is a step above our routine operation. She observed that such a program was designed for capacity building of all stakeholders including JKRLM officials and SHG rural women to make this program a success.
The MD also encouraged the interns to take full advantage of the program so that they are fully aware of the requests of these women entrepreneurs. She asked them to be role models for these women so that they would excel in the companies in which they are involved. She said the program aims to create successful entrepreneurs from small, independent rural women.
Dr Sehrish further asked them that a lot of effort has been put into the JKRLM’s part to strategize, evolve and roll out this program. She mentioned that the best interns of the Indian SME Forum had been organized to get the most out of this initiative. She encouraged them to learn more so that it becomes a turning point for the next generation of entrepreneurs. The MD informed that by a scientific method, it was established that our registered SHGs have the potential to create jobs for 35,000 people.
She argued that in the whole scheme of things, the role of these intermediaries is eminent because they themselves, if not the entrepreneurs, will produce the best entrepreneurs among the members of the SHG. She explained that this program has the potential to change the fortunes of rural women if taken seriously during its implementation.
Deputy Director General Riyaz Ahmad Beigh congratulated the entire mission team and that of the Indian SME Forum for defining the terms of this program. Giving details, he said that this program will continue for two days here in offline mode and thereafter in online mode for an additional 9 weeks.
It was also revealed that some 8,000 applications were received by the mission for the SAATH initiative, of which 5,000 women would benefit from training in the workshops of the Indian SME Forum. In addition, 500 women would be selected for the intensive training course, out of which 100 women would be selected for full-scale mentoring.
The representative of the Forum also indicated that these women would benefit from sector training to expand livelihood activities in rural enterprises. It was also said that access to finance, to the national and international market could be used by those who have the potential to excel.
The Forum would provide a support mechanism in the areas of technology, production, branding, packaging and distribution through FPOs and CFCs. These workshops held in J&K’s two capitals would help identify, assess and address business opportunities in addition to extending network-based support to these businesses.
It was reported that a simple eligibility criterion has been adopted, comprising women in the age group of 18-50 years involved in self-employment and aspires to turn their livelihood activity into a business.