Bihar to Connect 1.5 Crore Women Through 10 Lakh SHGs

To bring women working in the unorganised sector under one umbrella, Bihar government is aiming at establishing 10 lakh Self Helf Groups (SHG) and connect 1.5 crore women through them, former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said today.

"Connecting 1.5 crore women to 10 lakh SHGs will affect over six crore persons in the state. We also aim to make the SHGs sustainable for making the women self-dependent. This is an ambitious project," said Kumar.

"Women empowerment is closely connected with awareness, self-dependence and self-confidence. We are paying attention to these three aspects for the welfare of women," he added.

Kumar was speaking at a workshop on 'Women in Informal Economy in Bihar' at Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) here. He also released a report prepared by SEWA Bharat, which is an All India Federation of Self Employed Women's Associations.

The report reveals that 1.3 crore women are working in the informal economy of the state, which involves animal husbandry, agriculture related works, bidi making, tailoring, household work and a wide variety of household industries.

"The role and contribution of unorganised women workers in the growth of the state is not accounted for properly. Their work is taken for granted. The GDP also does not consider many things done by women. It they are considered, then GDP will go up naturally," said Kumar.

The former CM asked the secretary of Labour Resources Department Sanjay Kumar to ensure skill development of girls and women in the state as it is "a panacea to all ills".

Talking about the burgeoning population, Kumar said with rising education and the plans to open higher secondary schools in all panchayats in the state, the population would stabilize in 25 years.

As the report on women in informal economy cites Census 2011 figures to point out that 77 per cent households in Bihar do not have access to toilets, the highest number in the country, the former chief minister said toilets and prohibition were the priority areas for the state government and grants were being given under various schemes for the purpose.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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