I am leading Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural Kashmir, ranging from 16 – 45 age group. My cardinal aim will be to hone their digital skills through training and workshops where they can display their learned skills. The training will be provided in a phased manner, so that they learn and practice the skill continuously. My target areas will be districts of Baramulla and Bandipora and I shall take a sample of 20 women at the most from each district.
It is the need of the hour, especially at a time of global recession when we need to promote traditional livelihoods and home-based cottage and agricultural industries. In Kashmir, SHGs evolved as a very significant and life-changing model for the women. Women traditionally were confined within the threshold in Kashmir and particularly in the remote districts such as Baramulla or Bandipura. It is through the SHG model that women in such suppressed environment got an opportunity to venture outside and they got a foundation to express themselves. This gave them an opportunity to learn new concepts such as savings which the entire community was unaware of and they passed on these learning to their families as well which eventually contributed to the family’s wellbeing. Being part of groups, the women were able to break the shackle of shyness and gradually began to express. Besides these gave them a way to address familial problems such as inter loaning amongst themselves to arrange for money during emergency situations such as to conduct marriage or during medical emergencies. This also helped them to earn tremendous respect from their families.