Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Ruchi Soya Industries Limited (Ruchi Soya) recently conducted women’s empowerment planning workshops under their ‘Navi Disha’ initiative. The workshop was organised for the women SHGs (self help groups) to guide them in starting their own income generating activity. 111 women from 21 SHGs from Patalganga (near Navi Mumbai) and Nagpur regions participated in the workshop.
Mr. Dinesh Shahra, Managing Director, Ruchi Soya industries Limited said, “The Shri Mahadeo Shahra Sukrat Trust (SMSST) has been working for rural development since 1977. Inspired by our Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi ji’s commitment to support and empower ‘Nari Shakti’ through women-led development, we are working with the Trust to strengthen the role of women in the rural economy. We strongly believe that women can play a vital role in raising the standard of living in rural communities. Our skill development initiatives promote sustainable livelihoods and we are glad that our efforts are showing positive results.”
Ruchi Soya has supported the Shri Mahadeo Shahra Sukrat Trust (SMSST) in promoting 48 SHGs at Patalganga and 33 SHGs at Nagpur since 2006. These SHGs have helped over 1074 rural and tribal women to improve their economic and social conditions. The SMSST has started 11 income generation projects at Madap, Khairewadi, Dandwadi and Vashivali villages. With the training received, 49 women have become rural entrepreneurs and are earning and supporting their family’s daily expenses.
The one day Women’s Empowerment Planning Workshop was conducted using the internationally recognised ORID methodology developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), Canada that enables a focused conversation by a facilitator and helps the participants to undertake better analysis and decision-making. The workshop was specially designed for the SHG members who were interested to start their own income generation activity.
The ICA India team conducted the first session which introduced the SHGs to new strategies and ideas for sustainable livelihood promotions. All the participants presented objectives and future goals of their respective SHGs. The first session concluded with a shortlist of 29 Income Generation activity ideas by individuals and groups. These income generating activities ranged from running a grocery shop to a government ration shop, papad manufacturing and marketing, agarbatti manufacturing and marketing to beauty parlour services and growing mushrooms. Details of government schemes and information about government certificates and ration cards were explained in the second session conducted by government officers Mr. Rajiv Pawar and Mrs. Mohini Ahire, Supervisor, Tahsil Revenue Dept., Khalapur.
After the workshop, the participants returned to their villages empowered by the knowledge they had gained and the confidence to proceed on their journey to a sustainable livelihood. Ruchi Soya in association with the Shri Mahadeo Shahra Sukrat Trust (SMSST) will continue to work with the SHGs to support the rural economy.