Public Outreach | Union Minister Launches Women's SHG Exhibition
Public Outreach | Union Minister Launches Women's SHG Exhibition
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Meenakshi Lekhi, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, started her second day of public outreach today in Samba with a trip to the historic Buddhist temple of Ambaran.

On the banks of the Chenab River, she took in the Buddhist pagoda, Akhnoor Fort, and Jio-Pota Ghat, all symbols of the region’s illustrious past and cultural traditions.

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Finally, Meenakshi Lekhi paid a spiritual visit to the old Narsingh Dham Temple in Ghagwal, Samba.

Later, at the Nakshatra Gardens of Narsingh Dham, the Union Minister opened an exhibition of booths run by women’s self-help groups. She went around to all the booths and spoke with the employees from the Department of Handloom and Handicrafts. After seeing a live demonstration of calico block printing on fabric, she attempted to print her own cloth. She had great insight into modern fabric trends and recognised the special skills of calico printers. She also praised NRLM UMEED’s efforts.

She showed genuine affection for the local culture by making Bajra rotis the traditional way, on a chulha.

Meenakshi Lekhi spoke to a large group of PRIs and SHG members at the Nakshatra Yoga Centre, praising the NRLM’s role in advancing women’s rights by giving them a voice and a place in society.

The Union Minister, who spoke to the crowd, credited the advancement of women to a number of government programmes, including the Ujjwala Yojana, the construction of bathrooms, and the distribution of Ayushman cards. In an impassioned plea for environmental sustainability, she implored female listeners to cut down on their plastic use. She also stressed the need to spread awareness about the nutritional and financial advantages of using millets. She advocated for the area to make use of bamboo farming and wares.

The union minister, SHG members, and other notable personalities all swore an oath of allegiance to serve the country with all their hearts.

MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, DDC Chairman Keshav Dutt Sharma, DDC Vice Chairman Balwan Singh, members of BDC, PRIs (Panchayati Raj Institutions), locals, and District Administration staff were also present.

Following this, Meenakshi Lekhi travelled to Purmandal to see the old Shiv Temple. She prayed and looked around the temple grounds.

The Union Minister ordered the authorised DPR for the temple complex to be put into action during an inspection of the historic temple. She also demanded that state-owned property be put to good use in the city’s plans for growth and revitalization. In addition, she advocated for the establishment of an SPV dedicated to the repair of historic structures.

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