“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”
– Jawaharlal Nehru
Today, women are becoming self-aware and command their needs to achieve their highest potential, be recognized, acknowledged, rewarded and respected. The policy and institutional framework for developing entrepreneurial skills, providing vocational education and training has widened the horizon for economic empowerment of women. However, women constitute only a small percentage of the economic enterprises and the data falls quite below when rural entrepreneurs are taken into consideration. Development cannot take place unless the people at the grassroots level are not involved in the development programmes.
This underlined the need for entrepreneurship development programmes for women to enable them to start their own small-scale enterprises.
The uneducated women entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas, still do not have access to technical and financial support that can give a boost to their businesses from a domestic self-consuming scale to a profit-making commercial level. Given that, the vast majority of FXBIS’ activities emphasize on the economic empowerment of women and increased access to economic resources, FXBIS has implemented ‘Holistic Rural Development Programme’ remote sparsely accessible in 3 villages of Darrang District. About 217 SHG women of 20 SHGs have been engaged in various economic activities promoted by the project. 45 fish ponds, engaging 177 women from 16 SHGs and 20 women farmers from a farmer club were offered comprehensive support for improved collective scientific fish farming. 6 SHGs and 1 farmer’s club from Dahinagoan village and 10 SHGs from Dipila were engaged in improved pisciculture promotion programme. The activity is designed to engage SHG women, provide training on improved methods, support for renovation/reclamation of the water bodies, followed by adoption of scientific pisciculture activities. Post development of ponds, the management is given to the local SHGs. All these 45 ponds have been taken over by a total of 177 beneficiaries under collective farming method. Above 300 women benefited through SHG strengthening, about 177 women benefited through pisciculture and 40 women benefited through goat farming.
The hidden entrepreneurial potential of women has gradually been changing with the growing sensivity to the role and economic status in the society. It means women have the potential, skill, knowledge and adaptability to run a business successfully. Poverty and unemployment are the major problems of any developing country, to which India is no exception, and we all are well aware that the growth rate of women employment in India is still very low. Since women constitute nearly half of the total world population, they must therefore be regarded as an equally respected half of the society. FXBIS’ efforts since 2007 have been to catalyse this transformation – to assist women to gain respect in their social fabric, to gain respectable employment and to empower them to sustain their families to live a life of dignity. Towards this endeavour FXBIS co-creates, connects and converges with diverse stakeholders to help the “…forgotten people of forgotten places.” [Albina du Boisrouvray, FXB founder and President Emerita]