The state government is laying special emphasis on women empowerment, as a result of which Himachal Pradesh has emerged as the best state in the country. With the objective to strengthen the economy of rural women alongwith providing food security and employment to women of Self Help Group, the State Government has launched Mukhyamantri One Bigha Yojna.
This ambitious scheme was launched on 21st May, 2020.
The main objective of this scheme is to financially strengthen women and women belonging to self-help groups as well as to train them for backyard kitchen gardening. This scheme is a convergence scheme between National Rural Livelihood Mission and MNREGA and any woman member of self help group formed under National Rural Livelihood Mission can avail benefit of this scheme. Under this scheme, Self Help Groups can avail rupees one lakh and to avail the benefit of this scheme, it is mandatory for a woman to have a MNREGA job card.
Villagers are being encouraged for kitchen gardening by following MNREGA and Swachh Bharat Mission in the state. Women of Self Help Groups are making economic profit by encouraging food security by producing nutritious vegetables and fruits by developing kitchen garden and selling the crop in the open market.
Under the Chief Minister’s Ek Bigha Yojana, works like land reform, nursery production, fruit plantation, vermi compost pit construction, Azola pit construction, irrigation and water harvesting structure construction and Gaushala construction are being done in the state.
As many as 1,690 works have been completed under the scheme in the year 2020-21, with an expenditure of Rs. 17.91 crore.
During the year 2021-22, as many as 2281 works were sanctioned under this scheme in different districts of the state, out of which work of 1045 has been started and so far 852 works have been completed in the current financial year. So far this year, Rs. 4 crore 25 lakh has been spent in the state.
This scheme is paving the way for women to become self-reliant in the state. Women of the state are moving ahead on the path of self-reliance by availing benefit of this scheme. Women of Shirgul Maharaj Self Help Group of Rajgarh block of district Sirmaur have strengthened their economy by availing the benefit of this scheme. This plan has proved to be a boon for them. Keeping in view, the medicinal properties of ginger, Shirgul Maharaj Self-Help Group wanted to cultivate ginger but lack of funds was hindering their work. But with the financial assistance provided under Mukhyamantri Ek Bigha Yojana, the women of this group started the cultivation of ginger and converted the barren land into fertile land.
The hard work of Shirgul Maharaj Self-Help Group was paid off and this group sold ginger worth Rs. 50 thousand in Him Ira weekly market. Motivated by the success of their first attempt, the women of this Self Help Group have now cultivated radishes and will soon be available for sale in Him Ira weekly market.
The women of this Self Help Group have made these products available in the market by adopting organic farming within just 7-8 months. The Self Help Group is showing the path of progress to other Self Help Groups of the state.