Pauri Garhwal: Laying the foundation stone of self dependence, the Uttarakhand women are no more reliant on their husband’s earnings but are well equipped to carve a niche for themselves.

Setting an excellent example for others to follow, the women hailing from Uttarakhand villages, supply biscuits, namkeen and other snacks to lend their contribution in the family income. 

In the time of need, they also get an easy loan at just 4 percent interest rate from the savings account of the village. As a result of their consistent efforts, Rs 29 lakh have been deposited in savings accounts of three districts: Pauri, Tehri and Uttarkashi.

In 2004, Mahila Samakhya, a self-help group initiated efforts in encouraging economic upliftment of the village women. They established a women savings account in three districts of Garhwal region: Pauri, Tehri and Uttarkashi.

Small industries like bakery, sewing-knitting, wool centre, pickles, candles, decorative flowers were set up in the villages for the purpose.

Women like Laxmi Devi, Basanti Gusaai, Radhika in Thalisen Koti block of Pauri district started supplying biscuits and namkeen from the bakery in 2004. With their hard work and perseveration, they were able to acquire a savings of Rs 95,000 in their women savings account.

At present, the women’s savings account has provided loans worth Rs 38,000 to 16 women in the village at 4 percent interest rate. The women are required to payback loan within a year by working at the bakery.

On the whole, 4,118 women in Tehri are operating 231 savings accounts in which they have collectively deposited Rs 3,35,410. On the other hand, 6013 women members in Uttarkashi are operating 378 women savings accounts and have collected a sum total of Rs 22,23,915. 

The women opt for loans to buy seeds, farming equipments, livestock or for affording the education of their children and other household needs. The savings accounts operate on the lines of a bank and are managed by the women associated with it.

Preeti Thapliyal, Coordniator, Pauri said, “Having a look at the women savings account, until 2012, the women had collected Rs 19 lakh, which has now grown to an appreciable Rs 29 lakh. If they keep on working on the lines of a bank, the women in the village will soon be self reliant.”

According to Mahila Samakhya State Coordinator, Geeta Gairola, the women of the village need direction and they put in their best efforts to achieve their goal. As an example, they are not only becoming economically self-reliant and prosperous but also help other women in the hour of need.