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     PEC aims at making women self-dependent

Chandigarh, January 4th 2007, Express News Service

Punjab Engineering College (PEC) here claims to be the only college to have received a grant from the Commonwealth to start a project for empowering women. The project known as Gramin Bank Self Help Groups was started in 2002 by M L Gupta, in charge of training and placement of PEC. Initially, three teachers and 17 students were sent to Ahmedabad to be trained for the project.

Under the project, groups of five to six women are formed, which then are given money at an interest rate of 20 per cent by the college. The group is required to work together for a period of six months. Generally these groups are engaged in making mango pickle, triphla powder, and amla murabba, which is then sold by word of mouth.

“We thought this would create job opportunities for the under-privileged women helping them to have a source of living. An NSS group is also formed to monitor the activities of such groups,” said M L Gupta.

The college is authorised to engage only those women who live in the slums which are recognised by the government.

In addition, the college also gets the workshop uniforms of its students stitched by these women who are paid Rs 60 per dress. Gayatri, a worker under the project said, “It is a great opportunity provided to us. We save money as well as learn a lot.”

Another worker added, “We never knew what a bank was, but after working here we started depositing money in a bank.”

Nishant Dhiman, NSS Coordinator for the college, said, “By starting such projects we can do something for the society. Here we lend money so that these women learn to become self-sustained. We do no charity like many others.”

 | Original Source of News

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