Meet Sunita Kashyap, the rural entrepreneur praised in UN as a symbol of women's empowerment

15th Mar 2018
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At the recently-held UN General Assembly, President Miroslav Lajcak applauded the efforts of Sunita Kashyap, the founder of Umang.

Kashyap founded Mahila Umang Producers Co, an organisation in Uttarkhand run by women farmers, and producers. Besides marketing their products, it runs a micro-credit programme.

Source: UN

At the inaugural session of the UN Commission on Status of Women (CSW), Lajcak said rural women are a major source of innovation and ideas. Deriving inspiration from 3,000 women farmers in India to grow and sell their own crops, Sunita's organisation has been a catalyst in offering these women a respectable livelihood, he said.

These kinds of women do not need our help in finding solutions. What they need is our support, in turning their ideas into reality.

Focusing on gender equality and empowerment, the meeting centered on empowering rural women and girls. The empowerment of these women will not only enable them, but also us, he added.


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Owned by local women farmers and producers, Umang is a marketplace for knitwear, organic jams, and jellies. Apart from this, it also supports members with micro-credit, intended to improve livestock and daily needs, says a report by UN. The firm which originally started with three members in 2011, and evolved into a space for 3,000 women.

Like Umang, few other organisations like the Tripura Bamboo Mission in Tripura, Virsā from Punjab, Okhai from Gujarat, have been supporting local women artisans to build a livelihood.

(With inputs from IANS)

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