Women’s support groups on Odisha government goal, opposition says “bait for Panchayat poll”
As the Panchayat polls approach, the Odisha government, led by Biju Supreme Leader Janata Dal (BJD) Naveen Patnaik, has tasked several departments with providing sufficient work orders to Women’s Support Groups (WSHG) and has berated departments that were lagging behind.
A meeting was convened by the Chief Minister’s office earlier on August 12, 2021 to review progress in providing services and purchasing goods through Mission Shakti self-help groups by different departments.
According to reports, up to 19 government departments have been tasked with building the capacity of self-help groups under the Mission Shakti department. And, departments reprimanded for being late include SC & ST Development, Handlooms Textile & Handicrafts, Forest & Environment. The department of Panchayatiraj has also been asked to improve its performance in assigning work orders to self-help groups.
The government ordered the Food Supply Department to include SHGs from all districts for purchasing paddy and distributing the PDS ration through the GHS. Departments were urged to engage more and more self-help groups in fish farming, mushroom cultivation, uniform supply and collecting electricity bills.
Mission Shakti Minister Tukuni Sahu said, “Women don’t just make pickles, dumplings and papads. On the contrary, they spread their wings in agriculture and field work.
Acting on command, the Department of Housing and Urban Development planned a structured capacity building of the SHGs of Mission Shakti by creating a pool of trainers and mentors.
The department has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ahmedabad Urban Management Center, a globally recognized non-profit organization with expertise in professional urban management.
While the state prioritizes systematic investments for the development of the Shakti Mission (SHG) in order to fight poverty and vulnerability of the marginalized part of society, opposition parties have called it scandalous eye drops and bait for the next Panchayat polls to attract female voters. .
BJP President Mahila Morcha, Smruti Pattnaik, said: “These work orders will never benefit women.
She went on to add, “This is a ploy to put women voters at odds with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party in the upcoming Panchayat polls. Women have been used by the BJD as a commodity,” she said. asserted Pattnaik.
Likewise, Congress leader Mamata Kundu said: “Women should also have access to the market and to raw materials. Only a small fund for starting a business is more of a bait to gain their confidence for the next polls.
It is relevant to mention here that, in accordance with the decision taken in the first Cabinet, government business worth Rs 5,000 cr will be supplied through SHGs over a period of five years.