Women in Garo hills chase their dreams

| Updated: Mar 27, 2017 19:18 IST

Shillong (Meghalaya) [India], Mar. 27 (ANI): Age is not a barrier for the self-reliant middle-aged women in Garo hills as they have set a benchmark for themselves when it comes to entrepreneurship development. The women, all in their 50s, have been making artifacts from water hyacinth in a bid to bring about a change in their lives. These self-reliant and self sustained women have set a benchmark for others. These women, using Thai knowledge of weaving water hyacinth into beautiful hand woven artifacts, have formed a self-help group to ensure a better living for themselves. "Earlier, we did not have any Self Help Group but we decided to form the group with a view that we would be able to help each other. With the formation of the group, we have taken up different activities for our livelihood. It has also made us feel secure in life," said Mimosa Marak, an elderly. The aquatic weed is now being used for creating beautiful artifacts, an art they learned during a 10-day training sponsored by the North East Community Resource Management Society for Upland Area (NERCORMP), a project funded by the Ministry of DoNER, Government of India. Their tremendous efforts and creativity has led to creation of various products such as bags, purses, hats, boxes, baskets among other items. Their power of unity and collective decision has led to enhance a better living not only for themselves but for their family as well. "We were so ignorant. We weren't aware of our rights. Today, we approach different administration and government offices for various needs of our village," said another elderly Bernalis D. Sangma. The activities taken up by the group have made women in the village self-reliant and empowered. Today, they are taking part in decision-making process to bring about change and development in the village. It is noteworthy that in February last year the group had won the best award at the District Level Innovators Meet held at Ampati in South West Garo Hills. Their strong willpower and determination has made them realize their due rights and also empowered them to take decision in life independently. "With the formation of the SHG, we have been able to work collectively and support our husband in generating sustainable income for the family," said another elderly Pilina Sangma. Such a venture by the women folks will go a long way in changing the mindset of the male dominated society and will help them realize their status and bring change and overall development in the society. (ANI)

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