Addressing an interactive session on Skilling and Empowerment Initiatives through the FLO Village Industries and Transformation (VIT) Project, organized by FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO),Giriraj Singh, Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Govt of India said the government is working towards ensuring that by the end of the year 2022, over 3 crore women will be part of Mission One lakh which will also create opportunities for packaging, branding of their products.
He further said that today India is moving towards becoming Atmanirbhar Bharat and is exporting medicines, helping neighbouring countries along with successfully running the COVID vaccination drive. “Today, 68-70 per cent population is living in rural areas and we are developing 300 Rurban clusters in rural India with 2500 panchayats involved in this,” he added.
Without improving the lives of people in rural area, we cannot change the real picture of India,” he added.
Commenting on the FLO’s VIT project, Singh said that FLO must set a goal to set-up 30 million women enterprises by 2030 along with their mentoring. “With this, we can create around 150-170 million jobs. FLO should also support these women entrepreneurs by creating marketing linkages, mentoring, designing along with branding and boost the rural products,” he said.
Speaking on the role of women entrepreneurship, Singh said that today women are writing their own history. He also urged FLO to act as a mentor for rural women entrepreneurs. “FLO should play the role of mentor for rural women. Products from village industries need guidance and help in packaging, branding, and marketing,” he emphasized.
Ujjwala Singhania, President, FLO (FICCI Ladies Organization) said, “70 per cent of India’s rural population resides in villages. As of 2019, there’s a total of 664,369 villages, up from the 649,481 in the 2011 Census of India. It is time to empower the village population and its governments by collecting and sharing important health, nutrition and other socio-economic indicators. Which is why we have taken up the FLO Village Adoption program in a very concerted manner. Our endeavor is to empower women in the villages with product promotions, market linkages, financial guidance and using digital marketing for financial empowerment.”
Singhania added, “Our VIT Model Villages are based on SAGY Guidelines, Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana that was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 11th October 2014 with the aim to translate the comprehensive vision of Mahatma Gandhi about an ideal Indian village into reality, keeping in view the present context. The ideal Model village is based on multidimensional aspects including water issues, agriculture issues, gender issues, health issues to transform the village into a Model Village.
Arun Chawla, Director General, FICCI said that market access, creating resilient supply chains are the need of the hour for the rural industries.
FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) has been continuously working towards bridging this gap to empower women with skills, tools and knowledge that will enable them to become economically independent.
Under the National Initiative 2021-22, FLO has undertaken an array of Skilling and Empowerment initiatives though the FLO Village Industries and Transformation (VIT) project. The objective is to transform 44 VIT Villages into Model Villages and introduce at least one industry to empower village women for sustainable livelihood.