Aadil Abdullah

For Women Empowerment, there is hope from Bandipora. With the assistance of the welfare schemes announced by the government, women are contributing to the economy of the household by not only becoming self-sufficient but also providing job opportunities to others.

Sheep rearing makes a valuable contribution to the weaker sections of the society by its multifaceted utility of producing wool, meat, skin, manure etc. Realizing this, many development activities including schemes for intensive sheep development in the state have been initiated.

Meet Mumtaza Begum, a 33 year old college dropout and now a house maker from Sheikpal Watrina area of district Bandipora in early 2021 approached Sheep Husbandry Department Bandipora for a sheep unit in order to earn livelihood.

The department provided a 50 ewe sheep unit to Mumtaza under state sector Scheme-Mini Sheep Farm in the year 2021. Mumtaza, a shy introvert house maker not only transformed herself but the fate of her husband besides giving employment to two more men who work in her sheep farm.

“There are two men working in my farm on a monthly salary of 9000 each,” said Mumtaza. It was not however easy to break the set stereotype and centuries old male dominance to carve a sustainable livelihood for herself and her family, she added.

Starting with 50 sheep, Mumtaza now possesses more than 250 sheep. She not only earns livelihood for herself but for the family besides providing livelihood to two other families.

The department (Sheep Husbandry Department) has provided me with every support whenever needed, she said. She is supported by her husband and is happy to have successfully taken up this opportunity. She appealed other women to reap full benefits of schemes kept available by the UT government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Bandipora with peculiar scenic beauty is located in the foothills of the snow-clad peaks of Harmukh overlooking the shores of Wullar Lake has a tremendous potential for the growth of sheep and allied agricultural activities. This district occupies an area of 398sqkm. Large scale efforts are seen growing day in and day out to further boost this sector.

Giving details she said she is happier to be an employer than an employee. “I am giving employment to three unemployed youth besides supporting my family economically”. She expressed her happiness and thanked the UT Government, District Administration and sheep Husbandry department providing her assistance in establishing the unit.

Mumtaza Begum appealed to the unemployed youth to come forward and take benefit of different schemes provided by the Government. She said to lower the unemployment rate youth has to change the mindset and engage themselves in different income generating units.