Sitarganj may not ring a bell for many of us, but this small city in Uttrakhand is also doing it’s bit for women empowerment. How you might ask? Well, Sitarganj phase-II is where the State Infrastructure and Industries Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (SIDCUL) has recently allocated 25 acres land to promote industries, especially cottage industries, in the hill state and include as many women as possible into the sector.

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There is also a provision where women entrepreneurs who have been born in the state will be given preference for plots in the estate, and a certain number of jobs will be reserved for women in the industrial area.

The purpose of the step is to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst women and create a business chain where women are the sole stakeholders. General manager of SIDCUL, S L Semwal, said, “In our state, the chief bread earner in a household is often women, especially in hill districts. From working in the fields to selling agricultural produce in the market, everything is managed by women. All we are trying to do is segregate such women workforce and provide them a platform so that during off-season, when they do not work in their fields, they can sell raw material grown by them to these cottage industries and at the same time hone their skills by working in the processing and packing of products in these industries”, as reported by TOI.

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According to a survey conducted by the government of India in 2008-09 , 13% women of Uttarakhand are industrialists. No doubt with this initiative, the idea is to bring that percentage on par with men.

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