Women Empowerment through MGNREGA in Jammu and Kashmir

Sheikhzada Daniyal
4 Min Read

In a significant stride towards women empowerment in rural Jammu and Kashmir, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has provided huge employment opportunities. Over half a million women have received employment in the last five years. This transformative initiative has not only granted financial security to these women but has also empowered them. They are now able to make decisions for their families and instilled a sense of self-reliance and dignity.

Women Granted Employment under MGNREGA

The data reveals that a staggering 563,485 women were granted employment under MGNREGA since 2018. With the department spending over ₹1,100 crore on this endeavor. Last year alone, 283,476 women were employed, generating 8,534,744 person-days, including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The funds allocated for women’s employment have been staggering. They steadily increased from ₹178 crores in 2019-20 to ₹208 crores in 2023-24, showcasing the government’s commitment to this cause. Women introduction of new schemes women empowerment is on rise in Jammu and Kashmir.

MGNREGA prioritizes projects that directly benefit women, such as the construction of sanitation facilities, water conservation initiatives, and agricultural development programs. These projects not only create jobs but also address critical needs in rural communities, making a tangible difference in the lives of the beneficiaries.

Case Studies

Shameema Begum is a resident of Budgam district. She has been working under the program for the past three years and attests to its life-changing impact. “MGNREGA has been a game-changer for me and my family. I am now able to contribute to my household income and have even saved enough to send my children to school,” she shared.

Similarly, Sara Begum, a resilient woman from one of the remote villages of Kupwara, found herself struggling to run her household due to limited economic opportunities. However, her life took a positive turn when she became a beneficiary of the MGNREGA employment program. Through this initiative, she gained access to meaningful employment. Consequently, this not only provided her with a steady income but also instilled a sense of empowerment and dignity. “Now, I am not just contributing to my family’s income,” Sara said.

The MGNREGA is a flagship program by the Government of India. It guarantees 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to rural households. In Jammu and Kashmir, this program has proven to be a game-changer for women. It has been providing them with the opportunity to break shackles of unemployment and contribute to their families’ well-being.

As the program continues to evolve and expand, it is expected to reach more women in rural areas, empowering them financially and socially. The success stories of Shameema Begum and Sara Begum serve as a testament to the transformative power of MGNREGA. Its ability to uplift the lives of women in Jammu and Kashmir.

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