Serving the twin purposes of empowering women and creating vast employment opportunities for handloom weavers in the state, the Yogi Adityanath government is going to provide over one lakh sarees to BC-Sakhis, designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Rae Bareli.
To promote the handloom industry, the UP government will provide two handloom sarees to the women working under the Banking Correspondent Sakhi scheme as uniform. For this, the government will buy the sarees made by the handloom weavers, UP Handlooms Managing Director KP Verma said.
He said the weavers involved in the work would be given Rs 750 per sari as wages through DBT (direct benefit transfer).
The designs sent by the NIFT have been approved by the chief minister and the sarees are being weaved. The cost of each saree amounts to Rs 1,934.15 and a fund of Rs 22,43,61,400 has been released to the department for 1.16 lakh sarees and dress materials, Verma said.
The UP Handloom department has engaged five producer companies in this regard out of which, three are from Varanasi district and one each from Mau and Azamgarh.
UP Handlooms has already made a payment of Rs 1.20 crore to almost 537 weavers and over 12,837 sarees are ready.
Verma said due to the adverse economic conditions as a result of COVID-19, a crisis of employment had arisen for the weavers and through this scheme, employment had been provided to the weavers.
“Also, the scheme has eliminated the role of middlemen and the money is being directly transferred into the bank accounts of the weavers. The weavers covered by the scheme are getting maximum benefit and as a result, other weavers are also getting attracted towards the scheme and enrolling themselves with the producer companies,” Verma said.
On May 21, 2020, the Uttar Pradesh government had announced a proposal to induct 58,000 BC Sakhis, one for every existing gram panchayat. This is expected to have an enormous effect by virtually establishing a one-stop solution for all banking needs of every local household at the doorsteps. At present, the Rural Development department is conducting a thorough selection and recruitment process based on a robust mobile app-based mechanism.
The incorporation of self-help group (SHG) members as BC Sakhis helps in ensuring financial inclusion, timely capitalisation, digitalisation of SHG transactions, and overall development of the community. It further strengthens the objective of building the entrepreneurial abilities of women.