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Self-help groups empowering women in Manipur.

Imphal, Feb 24 ( ANI ): Thousands of women in different parts of Manipur have become members of self-help groups to increase their family incomes and improve their standard of life.

These women are working hard to earn some money for their families so that they can send their children to good schools, support their family's medical and other financial needs.

The women make decorative items for various household purposes using wires that are sold in the markets.

The items range between Rs 50-2000, and are sold under the brand of Punshi Mangal, which is also the name of the self-help group.

"We want support from the government so that we can make more items and earn more money. We need more resources and if the government can help us in terms of materials and finance then it will be very beneficial for us," said Awon Keishing, president, Punshi Mangal Self Help Group.

"We want help from government to expand our business. We have a range of products and whatever we earn from it we use it for the education of our children, on family and for individual expenditure," said Kh Lewis, secretary, Punshi Mangal Self Help Group.

Punshi Mangal self-help group started in 2006 and has women from Meitei, Tanghkul and Marring communities.

Initially, the group faced a lot of problems in getting finance and loans, and lack of marketing and facilities made difficult for the group to send its finished goods reach the market.

Two years ago an NGO provided them a loan of Rs 50,000 that helped them boost production and improve operations.

Women working here now earn between Rs 300-500 everyday.

Most of them have attended training programmes in making decorative and household items in Shillong, Arunachal Pradesh and Guwahati.

The goods made by the self-help group women are a testimony of the immense talent of these women. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Feb 24, 2012
Words:327
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