Amritsar, Apr 17: Self-help groups in Amritsar are helping women find sustenance and also in managing self-employment ventures.
A rustic hamlet in Amritsar's Tarshika block is a perfect example ofhe impact of empowering women and allowing them to realise theirotential. Women cook food, help out at farms and take care of their children. Most important, they contribute to family income as they hone develop their entrepreneurship skills.
Women here have been busy producing various household products, including eco-friendly bags, decorative items, soft toys, embroidered suits, hand fans and pickle.
"My mother started making hand fans and sold them through the society.
Later, I decided to join her so that I could contribute in generating some money," said Pavandeep Kaur, member, Women's self help group.
Working in two separate groups, "Prakash" and "Aman", these women are developing their hidden talent and creating a market for their products.
Each club has an elected president and finance manager, to deal with production and sales of the products. The prices of the finished products are fixed depending upon their quality.
The club has a sales outlet, but that is not sufficient to ensure handsome returns.
Rajinder Kaur, another member of Women's self help group added, "The club needs to be expanded, as we are not getting sufficient returns to match our expectations. The Kashmiri embroidery that we take up is intricate and time-consuming. The returns we get are far too less.'
"If we get an export market for our products like carpet, which is famous among the NRI Punjabis abroad, it would be ideal. If we get such a platform, the traditional culture of weaving would be revived in rural Punjab," Rajinder added.
It's a move to encourage and boost women's prospects on the socio-economic front.
The club reserves a fund to help its members when they face a cash crunch and this amount has to be returned with interest. This spells sound economics and ensures the sustainability of the group.
Though the income generated by an individual member is not very high, it certainly fosters entrepreneurial culture.
"Women are garnering the benefits of being members of the group. The women who are embroidering suits finish a single piece in three to four days and they gets Rs 100. So, without any hidden cost, a member saves 25 to 30 US dollars a month and alongside they do their household work," said Kuldeep Kaur, President of the club.
Women in rural India have learnt skills and this consciousness will help them to add to the family's income.