SRINAGAR: On a chilly Chilai Kalan morning, a group of women entrepreneurs was enthusiastically arranging their merchandise at The Gold Room in Srinagar’s Broadway Cinema complex.
From momos to artificial jewelry and from shawls to pherans, the women showcased a wide range of products to make their presence felt.
Organized by Khushi P Gillani, `Prayas’ is aimed at raising funds for the street animals in Kashmir.
“I have set up the stall for animal welfare. The proceeds will go to the Animal Husbandry department and an NGO,” said Khushi.
Since childhood, Khushi could not endure cruelty to animals. That is why she always wanted to do something for strays. Her quest for animal welfare took her to a different world. Since she was good at baking, she decided to use her skills to help the animals.
Come 2022, she organized a special exhibition cum sale of home-baked items, and the proceeds were used for feeding strays.
“I held an event last year and it was private. However, the response was good. It is the first time that I am holding an exhibition on this scale,” she said.
Dozens of women have set up stalls at the exhibition to showcase their products. Braving bone-chilling cold, scores of people thronged the exhibition on the first day today. “So many stalls have been set up. It will continue for two days. The response so far is very good,” she said.
What makes the exhibition unique is that it is driven by women. “We are very happy to showcase our products at the expo. It is a very good opportunity for all women to make their presence felt. Such exhibitions should be held regularly so that people should know that women folk are not behind in any field. It is the first day today and the response is good. Tomorrow is Sunday and the day after is Christmas. We expect the footfalls to increase,” said Arifa, who runs Hot Pot.
Entrepreneurs used the occasion to appeal to the government to come forward and organize such exhibitions for businesswomen so that they could show their talent.
“We urge the government to organize such programme so that women entrepreneurs get a boost. Most of these are offline services and people do not know much. Let the government intervene so that society comes to know that we too are walking shoulder to shoulder for progress and prosperity,” said Arifa.