Seeking to empower women who led self-help groups and various associations, the Madurai Corporation has started a training programme here on Monday.

It is a pilot project being conducted by the Small Industries Product Promotion Organisation Limited (SIPPO) under the Social Mobilisation and Institutions Development wing of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission.

Speaking at the inauguration of the six-day programme, City Health Officer V. Yasodha Mani said: “the aim is to make the participants full-fledged trainers so that they can go back to their communities and educate other women who want to start small business ventures.

SIPPO Chairman and Managing Director S. Rajagopal said the programme would focus on the areas of capacity building and skill development. Sessions on formation of SHGs, duties and responsibilities of group members and office-bearers, record maintenance, auditing and grading would be held.

“The sessions will help the women manage their SHGs effectively. As resource persons, we expect them to train more women on what they learnt at the programme,” said B. Neelavalli, Manager of the Social Mobilisation and Institutions Development wing.

Corporation Commissioner Kiran Gurrala, who inaugurated the programme, encouraged the participants to make the most of the training programme and become effective facilitators to take the message to more people. “The success of the programme depends on how effectively you take the message to your community,” he said.

S. Pushpavalli, one of the 28 participants of the programme, said, “Running a self-help group for the last seven years has helped me financially. It has given me a lot of confidence. There are many women who are struggling and aren’t aware of the options available to them. I hope to guide them.”

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