Though Jammu and Kashmir is the most beautiful state in India, it has the characteristics of an economically and socially backward region. The state is constrained by predominance of agriculture sector, low degree of urbanization and inadequately developed infrastructure. The state ranks among one of the bottom line state in terms of social development indicators like literacy rate, infant mortality rate, death rate, birth rate, status of children and women, power consumption and industrial development. Majority of people living in remote villages doesn’t have basic health care and education facilities. Prolonged political violence and threat from external forces have further aggravated the socio-economic landscape of Jammu and Kashmir making it an underdeveloped region constrained by both political and geographical factors.
Women and children have been the worst sufferers of this economic and social deprivation of Kashmir. Terrorism has not only devastated their economy but also created mental trauma and physical disabilities. Due to limited knowledge, skills and resources at their disposal, Kashmiri women are either idle or engaged in informal and unorganized sectors where the wages are very low. As a result, the income is very low, degrading their quality of life and lowering their standards of living. Women and the girl child tend to get marginalized due to their low visibility. Nevertheless, with the right tools, training and opportunity, the Kashmiri women can contribute immensely to the growth of their economy.
In the context of this scenario, it is important to invest in people, especially women and young girls in Kashmir for creating income and earning their wherewithal opportunities with a view to ensure a sustainable livelihood for them.
HELP Foundation, J&K took initiative of empowering women in year 2005 when it started food processing centre at Indehama and involved widows and distressed women in production. Some other initiatives are listed under different project heads as under