THE FORUM of Small Scale Industries Association took a step forward to uplift woman workers engaged in the sector.
The forum’s president Abhay Bhor is working towards the welfare and development of workers engaged in small scale industries.
“Women are considered experts in the house. They are adept at making spices, pickles, papad, jams and jellies, and also at making bags and clothes. We decided to tap these skills to get them jobs,” Bhor said.
The forum has centres in Pune and Alibaug, and will soon be opening one in Manchar. While Pune has units in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Hadapsar and Saswad that manufacture pickles, papads, spices, jams, jellies and dresses, Alibaug has its own bag manufacturing unit. In Manchar, the forum is planning to open a unit based on ayurvedic pharmaceuticals. “We plan to buy herbs from the adivasi traders and use them for producing ayurvedic pharmaceuticals,” Bhor said.
A lack of marketing opportunities is another reason for the stagnation in these industries. On this, Bhor said, “We have grouped women according to expertise and then they are lined up in respective industries. Funding is either raised from government-aided schemes such as Start-up India and Make in India or from zila udyog centres. We also focus on promoting products on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook along with organising expos where traders from Surat, Mumbai and Delhi are invited to buy and sell these items.” The broader vision is for women to be able to create business opportunities and providing employment. “We will be starting a women hawkers’ zone in Bhosari MRDC in the coming few weeks,” Bhor said.
“We are also providing labourers to existing industries and requesting companies to open internal canteens run by women,” he added.