Silchar, July 23: The Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal along with a host of cabinet colleagues, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of Finance, Health and Family Welfare, PWD etc, Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Minister of Education, Parimal Suklabaidya, Minister of Fisheries, Excise, Environment and Forest, Naba Kumar Doley, Minister of Panchayat and Rural Development as well as Ranjit Kumar Das, chairman, Housefed Corporation, will grace Mahila Samaroh in Karimganj and Silchar during his 2 day visit to Barak Valley.
According to official information, the Chief Minister and host of other ministers will attend the Mahila Samaroh at Karimganj on Tuesday where delegates from both Karimganj and Hailakandi districts will be present.
Next day, on Wednesday, the Chief Minister and his retinue of ministers will grace the Mahila Samaroh at Silchar. Nandita Hazarika, ACS, State Mission Director, Assam State Rural Livelihoods Mission (ASRLM), will accompany them. The ‘Mahila Samaroh’, the first of its kind in recent memory, is being organized by the Assam State Rural Livelihoods Mission, government of Assam, in collaboration with the district administration of Cachar. ASRLM is another wing of the State government to empower women, particularly belonging to the poor households in order to make them access gainful self employment and skilled wage.
The basic thrust of the mission is to contribute to the lives of the rural poor of the State through economic empowerment of the rural poor women and fostering strong, self managed grass root institutions, besides providing skill development training to rural youth for wage employment and self employment. The Samaroh has been christened ‘towards the emancipation of women’. In fact, the women are motivated to take up various vocational courses in basket making, clay works, weaving, sewing, farming and other creative activities which help to generate wide avenues of employment. This in turn makes women self-reliant and that is the primary objective of livelihoods mission.
The Mahila Samaroh is considered significant in the context of the overall rural development of Cachar. Quite significantly, in the wake of the ‘Mahila Samaroh’, All Assam Village Health Guide Association, Cachar unit, has become active to reactivate the village health guide scheme closed for the last 32 years. Arati Das, president of the VHG, Cachar unit, said it is most unfortunate that the village health guide day which used to be celebrated on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi since 1977 has been shut down in Assam from 1986.
Village health guides under the banner of All Assam Village Health Guide Association has been raising the voice for the revival of the most admired scheme in the rural Assam, nay in India. Fazlur Farooqui, general secretary of the association, said after the closure of the village health guide scheme, 18689 health guide workers became totally unemployed and their dependent families fell in financial distress. In 2013, female health guides did get some financial assistance, but their male counters were totally deprived. She alleged that many women disguised as fake health workers could succeed in getting financial assistance.
In order to move the State government for the resuscitation of the VHG scheme, Cachar unit along with all other units in Assam, has started signature campaign in the rural areas of the district. Memorandum with mass signature would then be submitted to the Chief Minister of Assam and the Mission Director through the Deputy Commissioners of respective districts.