The Sikh Woman from Jammu who makes Vaishno Devi Prasad Bags

Harvinder Kour runs a vocational training centre Taiba in Gujjar Nagar area under Jammu and Kashmir Women’s Development Corporation (JKWDC) for manufacturing jute bags for Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB). On International Women’s Day, they were given an opportunity by the government to organise a stall at Women’s Parade College Jammu and they are often given such opportunities to participate in different exhibitions to promote their craft. The training centre often receives huge supply order for the jute “Prasad” bags.

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In order to make women independent, government have kept a provision to provide loans to the women working in the centre. The maximum loan limit is about 5 lakh rupees and a time period of about 5 years is set up by the government to pay back the money. Harvinder Kour said that if the documents are prepared, it hardly takes 15 days to sanction the loan. The government is providing a helping hand in creating women entrepreneurs.  These self-employment schemes are funded by J&K Bank and the government is helping women folks to become independent. During the training period, a stipend of about 1000 rupees is also provided to the girls.



Loan can either be taken by an individual or a group. According to Harvinder Kour, normally each girl makes about 50 bags in a month which they can sell to SMVDSB and earn high-profits. The state government conducts awareness camps in different areas to spread a message about independence among women folks. These women can later establish a profitable company out of this small scheme and can become economically independent. jkwdc

Each teacher provides training to a group of 10 girls and encourages them to continue this work for uplifting their families and getting economic liberty. The best thing about this scheme is that in a very short span of time, women can start earning and supporting their families. jkwdc

SMVDSB provides payment through checks after receiving the required number of jute bags. Apart from “Prasad” bags, other jute accessories can be made which they can directly sell in the market and earn money. This centrally sponsored scheme has helped a large number of women. Further the head of training centre believes that every woman should come forward and must join this small venture, only then we can empower women who belong to remote areas or lower strata of the society.

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