Today everyone talks about the development of Gujarat and how its different growth models have revolutionized the overall economy of the state. Almost every sector including agriculture, education, transportation, tourism has seen and become an integral part of the state’s progress. Among all the developmental plans is the spectacular Mission Mangalam to help and empower the poor rural women.
Mission Mangalam has been launched by the Gujarat Government in 2010. It is an integrated poverty alleviation approach and an initiative to empower rural women. The mission was started with a belief that for the overall prosperity of the community, state or nation its every segment should flourish. Hence to bring rural women at par with men, Mission Mangalam was launched. Through this mission Sakhi Mandals( self-help groups) have been combined into the corporate value chain benefitting the stakeholders. Mission Mangalam is helping women to earn their livelihood and to become independent.
For the success, rural poor are organized into Self Help Groups/Sakhi Mandals. These Sakhi Mandals are then linked to the banks to fulfill the requirement of fund. Self Help Groups or Sakhi Mandals get financial assistance from banks and financial institutions, skill enhancement from skill-development agencies and market information from industry associations. For help and guidance these Sakhi Mandals contact the Mission Mangalam officials. Poor rural people especially women are made self sustainable through this mission.
For the implementation of the mission, a company named Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company Limited (GLPC) has been created. This company is a PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) company registered under the Companies Act 1956. Near about 150 professionals at state and district level are working for GLPC. To assist these professionals there are 1800 field functionaries. Then there are schemes, training and development facilities and association with the capital and interest subsidies. For the successful implementation of the project and to conceptualize mission at rural level, GLPC started Corporate-Business Partnerships. The aim was to generate more than a million livelihoods. With time many big industries and business houses became part of the mission.
By 2011, Mission Mangalam had near about 2, 38,937 functional Sakhi Mandals. It covered 29 lakh rural households. There is Rs 400 crores in bank savings of these Sakhi Mandals. By seeing such a proactive approach, banks have also extended their credit support to Rs 1,100 crore. Therefore the total available amount to these Sakhi Mandals through Mission Mangalam comes to Rs 1,500 crore. Mission Mangalam has given birth to many micro-enterprises. With such a great financial help, near about 58,000 Sakhi Mandals have been upgraded to micro-enterprise activities. Rest of the Sakhi Mandals are at different levels of growth and development.
Mission Mangalam helps poorest or the poor women. Some women are already running very small business from their homes. Mission Mangalam helps them generating awareness regarding new markets opportunities and better ways to do business. Along with this market linkage is also provided by the mission. When encouraged and shown new opportunities these women groups explore new ways and products thus increasing their earning. In a way they contribute to the development of the state.
There are many success stories of Mission Mangalam. One such example is of Shraddha Sakhi Mandal. 12-15 women in Paardi village located in the Lodhika taluk of Rajkot district are part of Shraddha Sakhi Mandal. They make Khakras (tea time snack) and sell these to a local industrialist in Rajkot. These women work from 8.00 am till 5.30 pm with an hour’s lunch break to earn about Rs 3000 month. Almost all these women used to work in a Khakras making factory. Their earning at that time was very less as compared to the efforts. Maya Ben the head of the Sakhi Mandal and the manager of the whole unit thought of starting out her own business with the help of these women. Maya Ben along with her close friend Damayanti Ben initiated this enterprise with the help of Sakhi Mandal. The revolving fund of Rs 5,000 crore of the Mission Mangalam helped them to start the enterprise.
Such models for uplifting and empowering women are the need of the day. Women make almost half of the total population but their contribution to the economy is almost neglected. She should be made financially independent for the growth of the nation. She should be empowered.
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