Shillong, Sept. 3: An incense stick production centre was inaugurated on Saturday at Marmain village in Meghalaya’s Ri Bhoi district to empower women.
The centre is one of the components under the Integrated Scheme for Women Empowerment (ISWE) after the Meghalaya State Social Welfare Board sent a proposal to the Central Social Welfare Board in New Delhi.
Initially, 10 villages — Marmain, Rongsahep, Pisamhuru, Pahamjri, Belkuri, Khulia, Rongthelu, Ampriling, Khuswai and Ronghilik —have been included under the scheme. The economic activities include incense stick production, weaving, beekeeping and sericulture.
However, in this phase, only incense stick production will be taken up in four villages — Marmain, Rongsahep, Pisamhuru and Pahamjri.
The women in these villages will be organised into five community-based groups, who will receive training and then take up largescale production and marketing of incense sticks. The other activities will be taken up at a later stage.
Aided by the Central Social Welfare Board, the project will be implemented by the Women for Integrated Sustainable Empowerment (WISE), Shillong as the mother NGO and Ri Bhoi Welfare Association (RAWA), Umsning, as the supporting NGO and under the guidance of the Meghalaya State Social Welfare Board.
The project has three phases of implementation where phases I and II consist of community mobilisation and general awareness.
Under these two phases, awareness generation camps will be set up, activities formed, capacity building for community based groups and skill training production units to be set up.
Phase III includes monitoring and evaluation on the various activities undertaken under the project to ensure sustainability through quality products and proper marketing. The main focus of the Integrated Scheme for Women Empowerment is to empower women and bring about all- round growth and development through a holistic approach.
The centre was inaugurated by Central Social Welfare Board chairperson P. Cariappa in the presence of former Meghalaya chief minister D.D. Lapang, Meghalaya State Social Welfare Board chairperson O.B. Tariang and others.