PULWAMA: Amid the rising demand of sustainable livelihood, a large number of Women in rural areas are taking the path of UMEED, to become successful entrepreneurs. In Pulwama district, UMEED has been a wheel of transformation for women to become progressive and self-employed women entrepreneurs.
The efforts of the District Administration through UMEED has been effectively transforming the traditional understandings of professional success as women in the district are willingly taking up multiple tasks by establishing their own units of entrepreneurship and other sources of income generation.
One such story is of a 42-year-old woman from Pulwama who sees her dreams turning into reality after she took help and guidance from ‘Umeed’.
Mir Masarat Qounsar, a resident of Shaar village in Khrew Pampore hamlet of south Kashmir’s Pulwama is currently helping and counselling hundreds of women in the area on how to take help from ‘Umeed’ in starting their businesses.
Mir Masarat said that in 2018, she came to know about the Self Help Groups run under UMEED, a government initiative under NRLM.
“When no one was putting trust on such things, we decided to join the initiative and after some time, we started getting loans and one after another started our businesses in different sectors,” she said.
“Presently, working as Cluster Level Federation, over 15 Self Help groups of around 200 women are working under me and taking benefit of the government schemes,” she said.
“I have visited far-off places of different districts of Kashmir valley to counsel the aspiring women who joined the SHG and later started their own business,” she said.
“I have also started a cloth shop in my locality, where I employed a salesgirl and we both are earning our livelihood very well,” said a beaming Qounsar.
“At present, I am providing a loan amounting to 10 thousand to one lakh to SHG members who are aspiring to start their own business and dozens of beneficiaries have already started their ventures,” she added.
“It is ‘Umeed’ that has helped me to manage all my family affairs very well as I am earning my livelihood all because of Umeed,” she said.
Notably, UMEED is immensely helping women entrepreneurs to exhibit and market their products, adds Mir Masarat.
“SHGs have not only helped me to become self dependent but I am now helping my family members financially,” she said, adding that it has become possible only because of SHGs.
“During the last three years I have made good progress and due to the UMEED scheme I have made my own image in my area and my respect in the village is of such level that people ask for my opinion whenever a young entrepreneur intends to start a new venture,” she says.
While advising the women to take benefits of the UMEED scheme and join SHGs in their areas, Mir Masarat says that the UMEED has given her a name and a unique identity, making her independent.
“Youth especially women should not waste their time running after government jobs but they should join SHGs and start small businesses and if they will work hard, they will definitely become independent and live a very happy life,” she adds.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Pulwama, Baseer Ul Haq Choudhary while commenting on the success stories of women whose lives have been changed by Umeed scheme said that Umeed is a game changer in financial independence of rural women and is a beacon towards empowerment and security.
He added that District Administration is at forefront to facilitate women intending to start their microfinance units under Umeed.

UMEED – a hope for financial independence and empowerment of rural women: DC Pulwama added by on
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