Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi, along with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah launched the UMEED programmme for the empowerment of women in central Badgam district in Jamju and Kashmir. Rahul Gandhi said that active participation of women is a must for holistic development of the society.
The Congress Vice President argued that Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra developed because once women there were empowered and they actively participated in development programmes. Rahul Gandhi also said that Congress-led UPA government at the Centre had sanctioned Rs.750 crore under UMEED to the state to organise self-help groups (SHG) of women for addressing their economic challenges and curb social evils like drug addiction and female foeticide. Rahul Gandhi added that the UMEED initiative had gone a long way in making women confident and enabling them to stand on their own feet.
The young congress leader said that he had visited Jammu and Kashmir last year and met youth at Kashmir University, and invited them to visit Amethi and see the benefits that women received from the UMEED, just so a similar one could be taken up in Jammu and Kashmir. "I took Chief Minister Omar Abdullah with me to Amethi so that he could also take a view of the success of this programme", said Rahul Gandhi, adding that the trip had culminated in the launch of UMEED in Jammu and Kashmir. "We can provide help, but you have to work yourselves to achieve the goals of welfare, social justice and development", he said.