Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi was on two days visit to Amethi on Friday and Saturday that is 22nd and 23rd April. Amethi being his LS Parliamentary constituency, Rahul Gandhi made every effort to cover as many as possible rural areas of his constituency. Apart from other engagements, he made it an occasion to see the progress of existing poverty alleviation programmes being run there and to assess what more could be done in this area so that more and more employment opportunities could be generated for the poor people.
Economic development of his constituency and wellbeing of the people living there is always foremost on the mind of the AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi. With this object in view on Saturday he met a number of self help groups and centres to get firsthand knowledge for himself. These self help groups have been organized under Rajiv Gandhi Women Development Project.
While addressing one such self help group the Young leader asked women to come out of their houses and register their participation in each and every sector to become self-reliant and a partner in the country’s development. Self help is the sure way to come out of the disadvantaged situation and to go forward. “For the development of the country and the society it is necessary for women to come forward and participate in every sphere”, Rahul Gandhi said.
It is in this context Rahul Gandhi said the UPA government is continuously endeavoring to implement new measures for social and economic empowerment of women in general and rural and disadvantaged women in particular. Women’s potential in rural areas remains mainly untapped. In fact women are catalyst for change. They can come forward and participate in income-generating activities such as stitching and embroidery, food preservation, cane furniture making, mechanized knitting, leather work, pottery making, detergent making etc. This ensures gradual economic change in their lives. Other income-generating activities available to women are co-operative dairy, bee-keeping and poultry etc.
“Efforts made by the project in the last few years have shown good results and there has been willingness among women to become self-reliant”, Rahul Gandhi explained. “Unless and until women come forward a strong line of development could not be drawn,” Rahul Gandhi added. He further explained that women associated with cottage industry have achieved economic success. He also visited other centres including educational ones.
At one of the women’s self help group centres when the women raised the problem of electricity, the Congress leader explained that problems were being faced as the party was not having a government in the state.
It may be mentioned here that Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust is running a number of projects in Amethi. The flagship programme of the trust is Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyogna (RGMVP). This programame aims achieving women’s poverty mitigation by providing them employment opportunities which they can easily undertake in or around their place of living without any investment or very little of it. All the economic activities under this programme are linked to micro-financing plans. As a result common constraint in such programmes – no availability of financial assistance from banks – has been taken care of.
Since this programme was started with strong fundamentals it has grown exponentially and now covers over 3 lacs families in 20 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Today, RGMVP is the most successful and the fastest growing social mobilisation programme in UP. Apart from poverty alleviation and financial inclusion, it has had a profound empowering impact on more than two million individuals who are directly or indirectly associated with it.