Ranchi, Sept. 2: The Union rural development ministry is all set to replicate Kudumbashree — Kerala’s poverty eradication model — in Jharkhand to empower rural women through the centrally sponsored job schemes.
Under the initiative, members of women self-help groups from the southern state will visit Jharkhand villages to train women here so as to enable them reap benefits of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and National Rural Livelihood Mission.
To highlight the role of self-help groups in poverty alleviation, the Centre and state jointly organised a two-day national seminar that began in Ranchi today.
“This model is a big hit in Kerala where women have organised themselves into small groups to collectively seek the benefits of MGNREGS. Andhra Pradesh has replicated it and is reaping good yields. In Jharkhand, we are planning to introduce it in 24 blocks initially,” said S.M. Vijayanand, additional secretary of the rural development ministry, talking to The Telegraph.
The state government will select one block from each of the 24 districts. Slowly, it will be implemented in all the blocks across the state.
Rural women from these blocks will be trained on how to set up poultry sheds, cowsheds, bee-keeping firms, dig ponds and wells, prepare land development plans. Most importantly, they will be given tips on how to approach officials concerned with their work plans and demand benefits under the various job schemes.
Vijayananda, who is also the in-charge of MGNREGS implementation across the country, said so far this scheme had been individual centric. Hence, an individual either did not pursue the scheme properly or government officials did not pay enough heed to his or her demands, undermining the main objective.
Jharkhand is allotted around Rs 1,800 crore for generating rural jobs. But, the state has been able to utilise up to Rs 1,200-1,300 crore only.
“When women collectively ask for jobs or plan to set up cowsheds or poultry sheds in private land, government officials cannot overlook. Women groups will help utilise the funds better,” he said.