Ramesh asks SHGs to work professionally

Balasore: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today asked women Self Help Groups (SHG) to adopt professionalism as it could help them play a major role in bringing radical changes in villages by strengthening rural economy.

“Women SHGs can play a vital role in strengthening the rural economy and transforming the villages if they adopt a professional approach and work sincerely,” Ramesh said here.

Asserting that money would not be a constraint to enable women SHGs to work, he said all steps were being taken for imparting modern technical skills to the members of SHGs. He was speaking while inaugurating a unit of perfuming and packaging of incensed stick, marketed and managed by ITC Ltd and Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society here.

“States like Maharastra, Kerala and Karnataka have scripted success stories for development of rural economy through SHGs and steps are now being taken to improve the quality of women`s groups in Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Rajasthan because of the rich natural resources available to them,” the minister said.

He said non-timber forest products specially cultivation and harvesting of bamboos should be handled by `Gram Sabhas` and not by the forest department.”

Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society chief V Rajsekharan said each member of the SHGs can raise their production from existing 2 kgs of agarbati to 18-20 kgs and substantially increase their earnings. For this, steps were being taken to provide raw materials, technical skill and marketing assistance, he said.