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SARAS Mela 2023: Empowering Rural Women Through Craftsmanship and Entrepreneurship

The SARAS Mela in Gurugram represents an important step in realizing the goals of DAY-NRLM by providing a platform for rural women to exhibit their talents and products while contributing to their economic empowerment.

Shivam Dwivedi
SARAS Mela 2023: Empowering Rural Women Through Craftsmanship and Entrepreneurship (Photo Source: @airnewsalerts)
SARAS Mela 2023: Empowering Rural Women Through Craftsmanship and Entrepreneurship (Photo Source: @airnewsalerts)

Minister of State for Rural Development, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, inaugurated the second edition of the SARAS Mela in Gurugram, which showcases the finest crafts by Rural Self-Help Group (SHG) Women. The event, organized by the Ministry of Rural Development and the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), is a significant initiative aimed at enhancing livelihood opportunities for rural women.

Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti emphasized Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of enabling at least 2 crore "Lakhpati Didis" from the existing 10 crore-strong family of SHG Didis under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission. This ambitious goal reflects the government's commitment to empowering women in rural areas and uplifting their economic status.

The SARAS Mela in Gurugram is a celebration of the rich diversity of India's rural crafts and culture. More than 800 SHG women from various regions of the country have come together to exhibit their handcrafted and handloom products, as well as showcase regional culinary delights.

The event, held at the Leisure Valley ground in Sector 29, will run for two weeks, concluding on November 11. Notably, entry to the fair is free, making it accessible to all. With approximately 400 stalls on display, visitors can explore a wide variety of art and craft. Additionally, workshops will be conducted to help women from self-help groups develop essential marketing skills.

The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is a flagship program of the Indian government aimed at alleviating rural poverty. It is currently the world's largest initiative dedicated to improving the livelihoods of the rural poor. The program addresses multiple dimensions of poverty, with a focus on reaching 10 crore rural poor households. One key aspect of the initiative involves organizing at least one woman member from each rural household into affinity-based women SHGs.

These SHGs provide invaluable support to their members by facilitating access to financial services from banks, enabling livelihood diversification and stability, and simplifying the process of accessing various government entitlements. The ultimate objective of DAY-NRLM is to ensure that each family, after being part of an SHG for 6-8 years, can achieve household food security and secure more than one stable source of income. This mission is achieved through investment in four core components:

  1. Social mobilization and the promotion and strengthening of self-managed and financially sustainable community institutions for the rural poor.

  2. Financial inclusion of the rural poor.

  3. Sustainable livelihoods.

  4. Social inclusion, social development, and convergence.

SARAS Mela not only showcases the vibrant culture and creativity of rural India but also highlights the government's commitment to improving the lives of those in need.

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