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ISB, Odisha govt to collaborate for women welfare, rural prosperity 

ISB & the Government of Odisha ink their collaboration for women’s empowerment & rural prosperity through a sustainable forest economy


ISB, Odisha govt to collaborate for women welfare, rural prosperity 

Indian School of Business (ISB) and Department of Mission Shakti, Government of Odisha signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable women’s economic empowerment and rural prosperity through a robust forest economy.

The MoU was signed by Prof. Ashwini Chhatre, Executive Director – Bharti Institute of Public Policy (BIPP), Indian School of Business, and Smt. Sujatha Karthikeyan, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Mission Shakti, Govt. of Odisha. The signed copies of the MoU were exchanged in the presence of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik, at the Make in Odisha Conclave in Bhubaneswar.

This MoU marks a significant step towards Mission Shakti’s vision of making Odisha a land of equal opportunities, where women are empowered to live with dignity and economic prosperity.

Under this three-year MoU, ISB & Mission Shakti will collaborate to build a prosperous and sustainable forest economy in Odisha through women-led community enterprises, starting with the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabrangpur, Rayagada, Mayurbhanj and Kendujhar.

“The forest economy, anchored in secure tenure, and built on women-centric community owned enterprises, is a triple-win model; with the potential to transform the lives of nearly 2 million women in the six districts, benefitting industry with secure, visible, traceable, and sustainable sources of supply and, ensuring sustainable management of forest landscapes. It is a win for the people, profits and the planet,” said Prof. Ashwini Chhatre, Executive Director – Bharti Institute of Public Policy (BIPP), Indian School of Business,.

The MoU will strengthen Mission Shakti’s ongoing efforts at women’s empowerment through ISB’s business expertise and experience. ISB’s model for boosting the forest economy in Odisha combines large-scale women-led community enterprises built as federations of Women’s Self-Help Groups (WSHGs), Community Forest Resource Rights’ (CFR) titles at the village level in forest landscapes, technology support for harnessing economies of scale through aggregation and mechanization, and direct market linkage with large buyers of forest-based industrial raw materials.

Mission Shakti will facilitate mobilization of the Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) and implementation of Community Forest Resource Rights across the six districts, acting as the nodal department within Govt of Odisha in enabling this model in the state.

Along with facilitating technology development and direct market linkage, ISB will work with Mission Shakti a) to operationalise security of tenure through CFR titles, and b) for capacity building, financial inclusion and skill development of WSHGs such that successful women-led community owned enterprises are established by the end of three years.

ISB-BIPP’s Initiative on the Forest Economy (IoFE), built on three pillars of security of tenure, economies of scale, and assured market linkages, aspires to build a landscape-scale sustainable and thriving forest economy by enabling sustainable management of forests and improved livelihoods for over 200 million forest-dependent people across India.

With pilots currently in Malkangiri district in Odisha as well as in Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh, the model is now ready to scale up and scale out rapidly.

The brainchild of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik, “Mission Shakti” is the self-help mission for empowering women through promotion of Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) to take up various socio-economic activities which was launched in the state on 8th March 2001 on the eve of International Women’s Day. Mission Shakti has the clear objective of empowering women through gainful activities by providing credit and market linkage. Empowerment of women through WSHGs under Mission Shakti is a flagship programme of the Government. It envisages that over a period of time more & more women would be part of a WSHG.

Nearly 70 lakh women have been organized into 6 lakh groups in all blocks and urban local bodies of the State so far. To strengthen the activities of the existing WSHGs and to provide momentum to formation of new WSHGs, constant handholding and monitoring is undertaken throughout the year. For this purpose, a separate Directorate of Mission Shakti has been created under the Department of Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti.

 Mission Shakti started with an initial objective of forming two lakh groups in two years. By 2006-07, 2,48,689 women SHGs had been formed which increased to 3,14,646 by March 2017. Consequent upon creation of new Directorate, additional 2,87,367 WSHGs were formed on a mission mode since April 2017. Mission Shakti has become a silent revolution in the state with 6,02,013 WSHGs comprising 70,00,010 women.

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