Angana, supported by Nidan, organized a consultation programme on ‘Improvisation of livelihood of home-based workers’ at Patna on 14th June. The programme was attended by several dignitaries of the state government as well as policymakers, administrators, experts, bankers and representatives of home-based workers from different parts of the state. The chief guest of the programme was state’s industries minister Bhim Singh. Speaking on the occasion, Bhim Singh said that the state government plans 10 lakh self-help groups (SHGs) in the state by 2017-18. At present we have 1.18 lakh SHGs.
The minister appreciated the work done by Angana for the uplift, development and empowerment of women in the state. “The state government will provide all possible financial and strategic help to these women,” he promised.
Singh also advised the members of Angana to extend their area of expertise. He said, “Instead of just focusing on garment, try to get involve in other business also.” He suggested the members to either extend themselves in the business of eatables like SHGs in Kerala or in cosmetics like SHGs in Rajasthan. He said, “The women entrepreneurs working with SHGs in the state are talented but their skill needs sharpening. Also, they need to improvise their marketing links.” However, states and even the central government have adopted this model for women empowerment. Besides, the state government also provides women reservation in different sectors. The government is providing subsidized loans and electricity to these women. Commending Angana, he said that such NGOs could be of great help in providing linkages to the schemes and welfare policies of the government. The state government will take all possible measures to encourage such organizations.
Welcoming the guests, Executive Director of Nidan Arbind Singh said,” Women of the state are feeling empowered through the efforts of Angana. Now they are moving ahead and have become independent.” Arbind Singh further said that Nidan has taken the task of making women of the state economically sound through Angana. He stressed that Nidan aims to reach to the poorest lot of women.
Experts present at the programme discussed various issues regarding access to market, finance, and quality of the finished product, social security and poor implementation of schemes.
Principal Secretary of industries department, Naveen Verma, inaugurated the programme. He regretted that the NGOs were not utilizing the government services.