Shameema weaves way to self-reliance in beleaguered Kashmir

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Panaji, Dec 30 (UNI) Undeterred by poverty and hurdles in the trouble-torn Kashmir Valley, Shameema, a 24-year-old woman, not only weaved her way to self-reliance but also gave hope to hapless girls of the region.

Hailing from a traditional Kashmiri family in Kupwara in Northern Kashmir bordering Pakistan Shameema not only runs a successful business of crafts, but also plans to start a workshop to train unemployed girls from the valley to earn with dignity and honesty.

''Yes, I am happy now that I can help my brother Bakshi persue his PhD studies in Biotechnology in Delhi and prepare myself for studying MA in Arabic at IGNOU'' she told UNI. She also plans to help her elder sister Masuda Jabin to marry soon through her earnings from tailoring and embroidery workshop in Kupwara.

She, along with her sister, was in Goa to participate in a 10-day Kaarigari Craft Bazaar organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Dastkar Samithi in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir State Women's Development Corporation (JKSWDC) and the National Minorities Development Finance Corporation(NMDFC.

Shameema, a gradate in Home Science, turned a new leaf after availing a Rs 50,000 loan offered by the JKSWDC for opening a tailoring unit in Kupwara in 2003. Masuda with her experience in tailoring, also got similar loan.

They soon started training a batch of 10 unemployed girls from neighbouring Bantargaun village. Interaction with Dastkar Samithi's president Iqbal Singh fetched them bulk orders from Faridabad and other areas resulting in expansion of their workshop.

So far, they have trained 20 girls in tailoring and embroidery and facilitated them to start their own self-help groups to become independent.

''Now, we run two workshops in Kupwara besides embroidery, cutting and tailoring units employing several girls,'' the sister duo said.

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