Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Regional

Himachal to link 27,000 self-help groups with online platforms

Yadavindra S Rana | September 20, 2021 08:39 AM

CHANDIGARH:“Self-dependent” seems to be the new buzzword among women in the villages of
Himachal pradesh and the word quite often used by the villagers. Change is visible—rural folks are
more self-assured and definitely more assertive.

Self-help groups have been one of the main driving
forces and at present state has around 27, 000 self-help groups havingt over 2.80 lakh women. In a
bid to boost their income, the state government has decided to link all of these groups with e-
commerce platforms of the Central government and private companies, disclosed state Rural
Development Minister, Virender Kanwar in Shimla on Sunday. It is stated that the platform would
enable these groups in the remote areas to showcase their products to the market at national and
global levels.
The minister has further revealed that the process of uploading the products through
government e-marketplace (Gem) and added that the products of self-groups made under the brand
‘Him Ira’ would also be made available on private e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart.
The attempt of the state government would also integrate the self-help groups with the
government’s public finance management system which in turn would mean easy payment for their
sales of the products, said Mr Kanwar.
The state government on its part will also help them in branding, packaging and pricing their
products to make them more marketable, says the Minister. The new platform will open doors of
revenue generation. Presently, their products are being displayed for sale only at government
emporiums.
The necessary standardization procedure and quality tests are being completed to
provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the self-help groups. The state tourism department
has also agreed to display their products at all their hotels free of cost.
It is also stated that in the recent past there is a huge demand for ethinic organic
products like dry fruits, medicinal herbs, honey, spices, handicrafts and handlooms in cities,
metros and huge market places across the country.
According to government records, more than 12, 000 self-help groups are involved in
activities other than farm products and some 15, 000 doing farm related activities under the ambit
of the National Rural Livelihood Mission. The minister also revealed that their products were sold
in 40 Him Ira shops, each having an average sale of Rs 45, 000 per month. The government aims
to set up 100 more such shops, says he.
He further added that a weekly market was organized at the segment level in which
women could sell their products directly to the customers.

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