The calm and quaint Himalayan terrains of Kargil and Leh are booming with production activities as a result of the self-sustainable employment created by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in the region.
Since the year 2017-18, KVIC has set up nearly 1,000 different small and medium manufacturing units under Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) in Kargil and Leh creating over 8,200 employments for local youths in just three-and-half years and released margin money to the tune of Rs 32.35 crore to support these units.
From cement blocks manufacturing to manufacturing of iron and steel items, automobile repair workshops, tailoring units, wooden furniture manufacturing units, wood carving units, cyber cafe, beauty parlors and manufacturing of gold jewellery are the few which the KVIC has supported thus enabling the locals to earn respectable livelihood. Even during the first six months of 2020-21, which has been marred by the COVID-19 lockdown, KVIC helped locals to set up 26 new projects in Kargil and 24 new projects in Leh in different sectors that created 350 jobs in the two regions.
Notably, KVIC is the nodal implementing agency for the PMEGP scheme. From 2017-18 to 2020-21 (up to September 30), KVIC established 802 projects in Kargil and 191 projects in Leh region creating 6,781 jobs in Kargil and 1,421 jobs in Leh respectively. While KVIC disbursed Rs 26.67 crore as margin money for these projects in Kargil, it disbursed Rs 5.68 crore in the Leh region during this period.
Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, KVIC said, “Kargil and Leh have shown immense potential for sustaining various manufacturing activities. Leh and Kargil remain disconnected from rest parts of the country for almost six months. However, these production units will ensure local availability of goods in these regions throughout the year.”
One of the beneficiaries, Mohammad Bakir, a resident of village Minji in Kargil started cement block bricks production unit with the initial loan of Rs 10 lakh, is now registering the annual turnover of Rs 52 lakh. He has employed 8 persons in his manufacturing unit. Similarly, Ismail Nasiri, engaged with production of iron and steel items, began his unit in village Poyen in Kargil with Rs 25 lakh, has employed 10 persons and is registering the turnover of Rs 76 lakh.
The employment spree has also prompted local women to take up self-employment proactively who were otherwise reluctant to moving out and working independently. Supported by KVIC, a number of women entrepreneurs are successfully operating cutting, tailoring units and beauty parlors in these districts.
Hamida Banoo, a woman entrepreneur in Baroo in Kargil, took up cutting tailoring activity and went on to employ three other women with her unit. Hamida’s annual turnover too has reached Rs 12 lakh.
Number of Projects in Kargil and Leh under PMEGP
|S. No||Year||No of Projects||Margin Money disbursed (in Rs Lakh)||Employment created|