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Updated: October 13, 2013 12:08 IST

Women chart their own paths to success

Madhur Tankha
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South Asia Development programme exhibition organized by Christian Aid on behalf of Scottish government in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Meeta Ahlawat
The Hindu South Asia Development programme exhibition organized by Christian Aid on behalf of Scottish government in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: Meeta Ahlawat

With assistance from international development organisations, Indian women entrepreneurs from impoverished villages and places, which are the hotbeds of militant activities, are on the path of becoming self-reliant. That they have succeeded in providing quality education to their children speaks volumes about their determination to overcome all obstacles.

Socio-cultural organisation ANHAD worker Saroj, who trains women at Manpur in Haryana in making bags and cushion covers, comes from a conservative Jat family. She overcame all odds to channelise her creative skills into something productive. She was one of the many participants at the South Asia Development programme exhibition held at the India International Centre in Delhi on Saturday. It was organised by Christian Aid on behalf of the Scottish Government.

“ Now, I take my own decisions. I have come here to attend the event on my own. My three children are getting quality education. Women in my village predominantly come from conservative Jat families. But they are learning and producing a range of products. Our intention is to bring them into the national mainstream.”

Though women from Bihar’s Purnia and Araria districts could not come because they had to make preparation for Bakrid, they were represented by Abdul Dalyan, who runs ANHAD’s Bihar office.

Kashmiri entrepreneur Humeera Qayoom Shah has managed to resuscitate her family’s carpet business, which was closed during the 1990s. For Humeera, the sky is the limit. To realise her dreams, she is toying with the idea of making heavily embroidered carpets, signifying the rich cultural heritage of her State, available to foreign destinations.

Scottish Government was represented by its Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf. “These vital projects are improving the lives of some of India’s poorest, most vulnerable people. Through our International Development Fund, Scotland is helping to save the lives of mothers and new born babies, improving access to food, clean water and sanitation.”

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