Kohima,14 July: Empowerment is defined as the processes by which women take control and ownership of their lives through expansion of choices. Empowerment can take place at different levels at individual, household, community and societal level- through new activities, access to resources and development of new skills. In other words, there must be economic self-reliance and livelihood security. Social mobilization and economic security are vital to empowerment.
The group-based model of self help is widely practiced for rural development, poverty alleviation and empowerment of women. It is an assisted self-help process which aims to mobilize people, give them a voice and build people action organizations that will overcome barriers to participation and empowerment
The SHG can be the vehicle of economic empowerment by ensuring provision of training, employment and income-generation activities with the ultimate objective of making women economically independent. Increasing women’s access to micro-credit can enhance their contribution to household income and in this way boost their self-confidence and increase their status in the household. With economic independence, social empowerment can be created by more participation of women in public affairs and thereby facilitating affirmative development policies and programmes for development of women besides providing them easy and equal access to all basic minimum services so as to enable them to realize their full potential.
Against this background, the establishment of Catchment Area Treatment Plan of Doyang in partnership with Farmers’ Cell, SASRD, Nagaland University, Medziphema Campus, is organizing a skill training and capacity building workshop for the target groups, WEWs and SHGs on the food processing- vegetables and fruits so as to enhance and develop their entrepreneurial activities based on locally available produce wherein maximum utilization of such can lead to additional earnings while minimizing wastage. In this programme the target groups will also learn capacity building approaches so as to build up their confidence and self-esteem.
As the jhum cycle has shortened/reduced in these immediate catchment villages, it is recommended that the farming community grow cash crops and develop its marketing skills/ infrastructure/ network for their sustenance. Moreover, these villages are recognized as fruit and vegetable belt as the soil and climate suit them.
These villages produce abundant fruits and vegetables both wild and domesticated but owing to lack of infrastructure such as cold storage and food processing unit, they are simply wasted. It envisages to train the participants to learn the skills of preserving and processing the vegetables and fruits in the form of pickle, jam, juice etc. not only for commercial purpose alone but also for their own consumption especially, during off season so that they do not depend on out side market -urban.
The training programme will be held at State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) campus on 18th July 2008 at 10 a.m., with Mrs. Sano Vamuzo, Chairperson, Nagaland State Women Commission as the chief guest during the inaugural session.