SRINAGAR: Pandemic and lockdown have destroyed many dream projects and economic units, but still many young women entrepreneurs want to set-up their units.At present, there are many young and talented women entrepreneurs in Kashmir Valley despite least avenues and income. Pandemic is not over completely and people are still locked in their homes. Keeping this in mind, a Kashmiri self-starter has come forward to make mandatory masks for masses, which earned her a lot of name and fame.And then there’s a moving story of an educated and empowered Kashmiri girl, who not only became her family’s support, but also rebranded Kashmir’s Pashmina Shawls, Kashmiri bats, Namdaa etc new themes and ideas.Many Kashmiri young and talented girls left Government jobs for their passion and are very sure that when they would succeed in their field of interest. Maheen Rashid Pandith, owner and administrator of Amity International School Lawaypora Srinagar, started her career as an entrepreneur in 2014.While interacting with STATE TIMES correspondent, she said that soon after starting her school, a massive flood hit Kashmir valley and after that in 2016, Burhaan Wani was killed, causing disturbance in entire Valley and schools were shut for months, causing huge losses.She also revealed that from 2019 schools are shut and most of the people are unable to admit their wards in the private institutions due to loss of jobs and recession, and now Corona pandemic proved to be the last nail in the coffin for common man .Arifajan, Namdaa manufacturing unit owner, always wanted to be an independent self-starter, but knew that it wouldn’t be so easy for her, but her passion and dedication made also possible. At present, she is the owner of three manufacturing units of traditional Kashmiri rug, called Namada.Nusrat Jahan Ara, took a courageous step and quit a government job for starting an enterprise in which no women have entered till date. She is one of those women welcoming risk with a smiling face.Residing in far flung area of Dadoora village of Pulwama district, she quit a secured job and opted for a cut-flower profession without any experience.Earlier, she had no investors when she started her business, but she started growing flowers in her backyard and selling them. After using all her savings and availing loan, she converted her dream into reality.To flourish and nourish ideas of these and many more aspiring women of Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir administration lead by LG Manoj Sinha introduced a brand new and innovative scheme namely HAUSLA, with an aim to empower these young and highly-qualified women entrepreneurs . This scheme was inaugurated by LG during a function held at SKICC Srinagar.The scheme will identify & empower women entrepreneurs as role models by providing them markets, networks, training and continuous support to build an ecosystem to inspire other local women entrepreneurs.During the inaugural function the LG said, “Our priority is to reduce the gap between women and men entrepreneurs, create a channel for educated women to explore their potential and subsequently overcome challenges through ‘Hausla’ programme. Everybody is well known of this ,that Women of Jammu and Kashmir are capable of achieving great heights.”‘Hausla’ programme has been made in a very scientific way and the broad contours include targeting women entrepreneurs of J&K already established in the field of self-employment, creating a channel for educated women to explore their potential and subsequently channelize their business acumen, helping them overcome challenges related to finances, legal, societal biases by focusing on their innate potential.In addition, there shall be dissemination of knowledge about promotion policies of Governments for women entrepreneurs and providing access to enterprise education and training with focus on business development, besides linkages to women enterprise networks, associations, business premises and online marketplaces.Local entrepreneurs like Maheen Pandith, while talking to STATE TIMES, said that our first and main demand was to reduce the gap between women and men, which now government has assured us but on ground level it is not so easy. “Difficulties in starting the unit also need to be addressed. If the government will work on it, honestly speaking women will be the leader and I am sure not only many more aspiring women will be attracted towards this field but those who are in the sector from several years will also be benefitted,” she said.LG administration is also hopeful joint venture of Hausla, Mission youth and (RLM) Rural Livelihood Mission will be fruitful for the young generation and they will be more empowered, especially womenfolk of the Jammu and Kashmir.
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