Every year 15th October is celebrated as International Rural Women’s Day in the world and this day is celebrated in our country as Mahila Kisan Diwas since the year 2016. As per the guidelines received from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, a webinar was organized by ICAR- CIRCOT, Mumbai on “Equity and Empowerment” on the eve of Women Farmer’s Day on 14th October, 2021 at 4.00 p.m. on virtual platform. It was the 14th mass media campaign by the institute under India@75.
It started with the ICAR song. Dr. Sujata Saxena, Director (Acting) welcomed the online and offline participants present and greeted them on Mahila Kisan Diwas and also for ongoing Navaratri and Dussehra festivals. She told that apart from women, who own farmland, many women in addition to managing the house hold work, also contribute immensely to the agricultural operations. They are also involved in post- harvest processing and various allied activities such as spinning and weaving to supplement household income. She said that with hand holding and technology and funding support there is a good scope for farm women today to become agri-preneurs and be employment providers. It would create wealth for them and the community and fulfill the government’s objective of Atmanirbahr Bharat.
On this occasion, Ms. Apoorva Bajaj, an extremely passionate entrepreneur and Managing Partner of MEDICON-Surgical cotton manufacturing unit in Kalaburagi, Karnataka delivered a lecture on “Women empowerment through agriprenurship”. She received training on Absorbent Cotton Technology at CIRCOT in 2017 and her company is a registered start-up of CIRCOT R-ABI. She thanked the institute for continual support and narrated her entrepreneurial journey of establishing a fully automated plant with latest technology for manufacturing Surgical/ Absorbent Cotton Wool (IP) and allied products with her team of passionate women entrepreneurs from various backgrounds like Engineering, Pharmacy and Business Administration. She elaborated on how her team contributed their bit to the economic development of locals, generating employment and women empowerment in a rural area. The program was attended by more than 100 viewers in hybrid mode which included scientists, cotton experts and traders, women farmers, start-ups, Incubatees, NGOs and other stake holders. It was also live streamed on YouTube.