With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian economy is striving for recovery in its post-lockdown phase. Significantly enough, the Uttarakhand Government plans to encourage women-led self-help groups to boost the slow economic recession. Considering the role of women in the economic activities of the state, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is full of hope to increase the number of participants in the SHGs.
Nearly, 30,000 SHGs are in operation in the state generating alternative income sources ranging from wool fabrication to producing puja materials for religious places. They contribute more than 50% of the labor share in the economy.
As agriculture remains the prime source of income for the majority of the women of hilly areas, the Government keens to engage them in other self-employment opportunities. In the quest for their better livelihood, the Government is going to initiate programs that will provide skill development training, mentorship & interest-free loans facilitated by rural growth centers. Identifying the women as the driving force in the economy, Alok Bhatt, Chief Minister's economic advisor highlighted the government’s steps towards women empowerment to make them self-reliant:
“Keeping all this in mind, the government has taken various important steps like providing the SHGs interest-free loans of up to Rs5 lakh and even directly buying their products worth up to Rs1 lakh. This is meant to promote them and involve more women in economic activities.”
The economic crisis badly left an impact on purchasing power, low productivity & job loss. To absorb the shock the Government previously launched schemes like “Mukhya Mantri Swarojgar Ayojana” & the “Saur Swarojgar Yojana”. Now by ensuring acceleration of involving more women in activities like collective dairy, poultry, or organic farming, they are not only aiding the women out of financial burden but also moving the wheel of the economy in full swing.