UMEED Market Place setup under AVSAR (Airport as Venue for Skilled Artisans Of The Region) Scheme of Airport Authority of India at Srinagar and Jammu airports is helping artisans to get exposed to the national market and strengthen the economic conditions of local artisan community.

These outlets at airports exhibit products of all 20 districts and the initiative is supporting local art and artisans of Self Help Groups of J&K Rural Livelihood Mission. These outlets form a platform for marketing local products directly to the customers. An area of 100-200 square feet has been earmarked at each AAI operated airport.

The products of Self Help Groups get exposed to the national market, strengthen the local artisan community and provide sufficient promotional avenues to their products.

The marketplace at both the Airports is giving huge visibility to the members of SHGs and promote their products to a wider spectrum, reaching out to the larger population and make rural handicraft products available at reasonable prices to the passengers.

More than five lakh women benefit every year from stalls and counters offered to them for 15 days on rotational basis. It also serves as a point for passengers to place bulk orders and request for customized demands for corporate gifting as well.

The initiative strengthens SHGs by allotting space at AAI Airports to provide huge visibility to these small groups and prepare them to promote/market their products to the wider spectrum, reaching out to the larger population.

The “AVSAR” scheme has also been launched with an aim to encourage the talent of women, artisans and craftsmen and provide them with the right opportunities. Under AVSAR, an opportunity to help the indigent to mobilize their households into functionally effective self-earned groups for self-reliance and self-dependence, has been provided.

Syed Darakhsa of Budgam is the founder of the 10- member successful women self-help artisans’ group sponsored by JKRLM for its start-up and deals with handicrafts. Daraksha says they had also been provided an opportunity to sell their hand made products at Srinagar Airport under AVSAR scheme for 15 days generating a revenue worth Rs. 9 lacs.

She says that it was only possible with the help of financial aid of JKRLM Department Budgam that her group was able to sell their products at various sales outlets.

Nayeema Bano is another example of successful SHG group under UMEED with a name of AALISHAN in Chadoora Budgam. Her Self help group deals with packaging of dry frits and papier-mâché work on plates, cups, vases, and decoration pieces such as miniature Samovar, Shikara and similar items.

Naveema says that a platform was provided to their SHG for 15 days at Srinagar Airport under AVSAR scheme wherein they even managed to earn a profit of Rs. 2 lac in a single day.

“This was only possible due to JKRLM who trained her SHG in packaging of dry fruits, papier-mâché work and marketing skills”, she said.

In her message to the youth she said that having originality, creativity and focus without obsessing over what others are doing, are the keys to success.

JKRLM is reaching out to the rural poor families and links them to sustainable livelihood opportunities till they come out of the poverty and start enjoying a decent quality life.

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