Women in rural Rajasthan can be popularly tagged as that part of the population who remain behind the ‘ghunghat’. And what exactly is their condition, if you take a closer look?
For one, they are refused opportunities to earn and are treated as an undesirable part of the family, who can never be a breadwinner to the family. These women have accepted their plight but the question remains whether this condition requires improvement. The answer is a big ‘yes’. And remains a challenge for the government. Encouraging these women into getting involved in financial activities and taking up of business ventures can uplift the economy of the state. They have the potential, but are facing atrocities day in and day out.
Rajasthan is a state of colours, with beautiful ‘bandini churnis’ and heavy metal ornamentation that the rural women of Rajasthan particularly drape themselves with. They are the Padmavatis yet to discover their power in the society.
Handicraft industry of Rajasthan is depicted with beautiful colours, rustic paintings and structures and artistic carvings. The technocrats, who put their soul and heart in making these items do not gain much because of the highly competitive market and their lack of insight in marketing the beauty of products they make. Among these technocrats are many rural women who sweat it out to make beautiful artistry but gain nothing in return! Rajasthan is one among the states of India where unemployment and backwardness of grass root level craftsmen is a burning problem. In spite of the rich texture and uniqueness of their products they are at a losing end in the economy of the State. Entrepreneurship Development is a major issue before the Government of Rajasthan like many other States in India.
The Entrepreneurship Development Division has laid down the following measures for developing entrepreneurship culture in the state so that it can uplift the economy of the State. The measures are as follows:
- Entrepreneurship Development Programmes
These programmes are majorly designed to develop entrepreneurship culture in the State. In order to demand quality of end products, it is very important to train the craftsmen. These programmes are aimed at increasing the technicality of these craftsmen. Under this programme Rajasthan Government has set up many Entrepreneurship Development Institutes to train the entrepreneurs in a systematic and skilled manner.
- Entrepreneurship Awareness Camps
It is very important to motivate the entrepreneurs so that they don’t lose interest in the work they are doing. These camps are organised with the sole intention to keep the craftsmen motivated and explain to them the importance of the skill they possess.
- Skill Development Programmes
In the capitalist economy competition is at a greater level and the craftsmen cannot compete with the minimalistic skill they have. Hence it is very important to upgrade their skills from time to time and this is done through skill development programmes. The craftsmen are trained in such a way that they can meet the needs of urban markets.
- Skill gap assessment by National Skill Development Corporation
The Department of Micro, Small and Medium Industry identifies the variety of skills among the craftsmen in rural Rajasthan. After identifying these skills intensive training is imparted through appropriate technologies so that economy of rural Rajasthan can be enhanced. This task is simplified with the help of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
The fact is that Rajasthan is a unique state which attracts tourists because of the variety of handicraft products that are available. It is known for its pottery, brass decorative items, ‘bandini ‘and many more unique products. Rajasthan Government is well aware of the fact that rural economy can only be enhanced with the development of micro, medium and small industries which are managed by grass root level entrepreneurs. Hence, entrepreneurship development is given major importance in the State. And this should lead the way to open up more opportunities for women in business!