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JKRLM gets global exposure at G20 Tourism meet in Srinagar 

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SRINAGAR: With an aim to display the richness of arts & crafts reflecting Jammu & Kashmir’s bountiful culture, through their skills & art Jammu Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) Umeed marketplace & a Millet cafe put up in SKICC wowed the G20 delegates during the G20 summit held in Kashmir.

From exploring the mouth-watering delicacies of Millet prepared by Umeed women to shopping for authentic handicrafts of J&K from the Umeed marketplace, the foreign delegates were all praises for the warm hospitality of Jammu &Kashmir.

JKRLM’s core belief & objective is to empower women by providing them avenues of livelihood and at Umeed marketplace festive atmosphere celebrating women’s power was witnessed wherein the different livelihoods like Handicrafts, Willow Wicker items, Black cumin, Honey, value-added products, Papermachie, Traditional Pottery, Basholi Paintings, and other captivating items apart from this a separate “Millet Cafe” for foreign delegates were also set up at SKICC here.

Eight women entrepreneurs from Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) set up their vibrant stalls at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) to showcase their unique products and captivate the attention of G20 delegates, Whereas 12 SHG members were seen serving the mouth-watering Millet based delicacies.

Delegates applauded the craft of Kashmiri women. The delegates were very happy to see the Umeed market place which had some agricultural produce (Saffron, Lavender) and value-added products (Soaps, Chabhri Binna) apart from the handicraft products made by women. These products were made by the self-help groups working under JKRLM throughout Jammu and Kashmir.

Explaining the purpose of the Umeed marketplace & Millet hub, Mission Director JKRLM, Indu Kanwal Chib stated, “Setting up the Umeed marketplace Millet Hub and Millet Cafe in SKICC was to give an exposure of international standard to the SHG women and reinforcing the spirit of strength & resilience.

To ensure authenticity, each showcased merchandise was affixed with a brochure that provided detailed information about the product. The participating women, hailing from different districts across J&K have been meticulously trained and empowered by JKRLM to become self-reliant.

The G20 platform provided a golden opportunity for these women to showcase their talent and enabled the delegates to immerse themselves in the richness of traditional varieties of J&K, she added.

Under the leadership of Commissioner Secretary Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Mandeep Kaur, JKRLM has taken various transformational steps like SARAS and now G20 being one of the few.

Mission Director JKRLM said that Commissioner Secretary has inculcated creativity and market essence in SHG women participating in this event which otherwise also have been part of quite a learning process, Mission Director said.

Adding further she said that Under the Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, JKRLM has touched new heights, the SHG products are available on e-commerce sites like Meesho further JKRLM has also ventured into the service sector by collaborating with OYO for homestays.

The progressive journey of SHGs is a representation of transformation wherein JKRLM has ventured out in the past two years to fill up the marketing gaps and connect the buyers directly with SHGs. With the focus of JKRLM on the overall development of Rural Women and continued training and exposure, it made its presence at the G20 platform to showcase and sell the SHG-made products, she maintained.

The positive vibes and the response from the Delegates towards the SHG women’s market have really added to the morale of the women, She said.

Talking about the Millet cafe put up for the Delegates during G20, she said that the year 2023 is being celebrated as the International Year of Millets. G20 is giving us a big stage to promote millet as a source of nutrition and livelihood. Women of the Self-Help Group are managing everything, and we are promoting this as an opportunity to earn a livelihood.

There is an inspiring story behind each piece. From delicate hand-woven wicker baskets to Basholi Art, the range of products on display represented the rich cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Mission Director said.

This is my first time participating in such a grand international platform. I had never thought in my life about it, I thank Department for giving me this opportunity to witness such a great event, one of the SHG members from Jammu said.

JKRLM would like to thank LG Manoj Sinha to have always encouraged Rural SHG women and given a chance to the Department to participate in such an important global event.

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