Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday gave an approval for the setting up of a “Mumbai Haat” exclusively for marketing products made by women self-help groups. It will come up at Metro Cinema subway, Dhobi Talao, and will be managed by women. The decision was taken at a meeting held in Mantralaya where a presentation was made to outline the concept and objective behind the setting up of the haat.
According to Fadnavis, Mumbai Haat is one step forward towards government’s larger objective to promote women self-help groups which have network across rural Maharashtra. The initiative is to provide these groups — also called as ‘bachat gaat’ — a robust market where their products can be put for sale and enable them better renumeration. He said, “Such haats will help women groups to build their own brands for their products.”
A year ago, Fadnavis had taken the decision to give loans to women self-help groups at zero interest rate. The exercise is to open new avenues of self-employment which would also make them self-reliant. There are several hundred women self-help groups across the state. The financial institutions which give them loans have acknowledged that loan recovery has been 100 per cent from the women groups. However, those in rural areas have often complained that they don’t get proper market linkages to project their products or capture the right buyers.
The haat will be designed in the subway where stalls would be erected for showcasing the products made by women groups. Apart from making provisions for products such as handicrafts, jewellery, household items, eatables and clothes, there will be a stall for selfie.
The project will be a joint initiative of Skill Development and Entrepre-neurship Department supported by UNDP (India), Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIN) along with other government departments.
A committee would be constituted to implement the project. The chief minister emphasised that the project should be planned to ensure its success. It has to be professionally managed. He also stressed that the objective of setting the haat should be brought into reality. And the spirit behind this move to give women self-help groups a platform to channelise their products through market links should be taken to its logical end.
According to Fadnavis, Mumbai Haat should not be seen as another local market, However, what would make it distinct from others, is the larger purpose to economically empower the women through self-help groups.
The model of this haat will be replicated in other cities and towns across Maharashtra.