Nation
Tamil Nadu, Kerala have high female literacy - and most women entrepreneurs
The five states with the largest proportion of literate women -- Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra -- account for 53 per cent (4.3 million) of all business establishments owned by women nationwide, although no more than 33 per cent of India's women live in these states, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data released by the Economic Census 2012.
 
With 73.4 per cent of its women literate, Tamil Nadu -- third among larger states after Kerala and Maharashtra -- has India's largest number of establishments run by women, one million (13.5 per cent of all businesses), according to the Economic Census 2012.
 
Tamil Nadu is followed by Kerala -- with 90 per cent female literacy, India's highest rate -- where 11 per cent of all businesses are run by women.
 
The two leaders are followed by Andhra Pradesh (59.1 per cent female literacy rate and 10.5 per cent businesses owned by women), Bengal (70.5 and 10.3 per cent) and Maharashtra (75.9 and 8.2 per cent).
 
While the female literacy rate was 65.5 per cent nationwide, the female work-force participation was 25.5 per cent, according to Census 2011.
 
Female participation in India's workforce has declined from 34 per cent in 1999 to 27 per cent in 2014, IndiaSpend reported in August 2016, the worst rate among BRICS nations and lower than Bangladesh (57.4 per cent), Nepal (79.9 per cent) and Sri Lanka (35.1 per cent).
 
The five states with the largest number of women entrepreneurs also have higher-than-national average literacy among women.
 
Lack of financial education can also limit women from gaining access to and benefitting from financial services, according to a 2014 World Bank report.
 
The top five states have the largest number of women who have completed 10 years or more of education. Maharashtra, which has the fifth-largest number of businesswomen, also has 77.4 per cent women who have completed 10 years or more of education.
 
Bihar, for example, has 153,610 establishments run by women (accounting for 1.9 per cent of businesswomen and ranked 14th among states) and only 56 per cent women have completed 10 years of education.
 
Women own/run 8.05 million of India's 58.5 million establishments (13.7 per cent), as reported in May 2016, providing employment to 13.4 million people. About 89 per cent of these were employed in establishments hiring less than 10 workers.
 
India was ranked 70th of 77 countries in the Female Entrepreneurship Index 2015 released by London-based Global Entrepreneurship Institute.
 
Building a small business, step by small step -- A woman's story: Archana Angre (43), who runs a tiffin service and a small restaurant in Chembur, an eastern suburb of Mumbai, studied till class nine.
 
Angre started the business in 1997 when she worked as a cook, despite opposition from her in-laws who warned her that business was risky.
 
The initial investment of Rs 2,000 was done by Angre and her husband Ashok Arjun Angre. She employed three family members (daughter, son and husband) in the beginning.
 
Within a year of starting business, Angre received help from patrons who helped her with capital and equipment (gas cylinders and stove). Within two years, her business increased from 10 tiffins to 100 tiffins.
 
Some of Angre's clients helped her get a loan of Rs 50,000 from UCO Bank. The business expanded from making tiffins for office-goers to preparing meals for parties and company events.
 
She received a loan of Rs 2,95,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (Prime Minister's Employment Programme) in 2010, which she used to buy utensils and other items required for the business.
 
Nineteen years later, Angre employs six people (three from her family and three hired workers).
 
Angre is now planning to open a fully functional restaurant. She has also been able to fund her daughter's studies in hotel management.
 
"There is a need for change in attitude from being safe with a job to the ability to take risks to start a business," Angre said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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A tryst with the Moon, Madame Tussauds, the marginalised this Durga Puja
Fancy a flight to the Moon and back this Durga Puja? How about an encounter with Madame Tussauds? Theres also a peep into the celebrations for the marginalised that was initiated by Indian revolutionary Netaji Subash Chandra Bose before independence. Theres much on offer at the Puja marquees (pandals) this year.
 
With India's successful exploits in outer space catching the imagination of the young and the old alike, organisers, over the past couple of years, have hopped on to the space bandwagon to entice the legions of pandal-hoppers to come and have a dekko -- given the myriad options available in every nook and cranny of this bursting-at-the-seams eastern metropolis.
 
However, the organisers at Santosh Mitra Square (Lebutala Park) in north Kolkata, have adopted a different take on their space odyssey.
 
"Due to the frequent earthquakes, it is possible that we might have to colonise the Moon. In our pandal, we have shown how it is possible to build homes on the Moon (Chaander Bari). Through models and figures, we have showcased a human colony on the Moon," a member of the organising committee told IANS.
 
After a lunar realty bite, head to south Kolkata's Baghajatin for an Indian twist to the famed Madame Tussauds wax museum.
 
A glimpse of the chiselled features and cool composure of stars Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and ace footballers Neymar and Lionel Messi at the eponymous pandal will drive out any fatigue one might experience from the night-long pandal-hopping.
 
"We have tried to replicate Madame Tussauds because it stands for excellence in creative expression. Similarly, Durga Puja is a platform for local artists to display their excellence. There are 58 figures made from fibreclay, not wax," Uttam Saha, Secretary, Baghajatin Rabindrapally Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee, told IANS.
 
"We intend to spread the message that if artists from Bengal are given better opportunities then they too can achieve greatness," he said.
 
On a similar note, the marquee at south Kolkata's Hazra Park by Kolkata's civic workers seeks to accord equality to the marginalised and the downtrodden.
 
The celebration is by the civic workers, for the civic workers and encompasses the Harijans who toil day in and day out as scavengers and clean the city's sewer systems.
 
"The Puja was started in 1942 by Subash Chandra Bose when he headed the municipal corporation and wanted to be inclusive. The caste system was very rigid. Harijans had no place in society but they were important employees of the corporation. Since then, the Puja has continued and involves the employees," Sayandeb Chattopadhyay, Assistant General Secretary of Pouro Karmachari Sarbojanin Durgotsab Committee, told IANS.
 
As part of the tradition, around 2,000 Harijans are invited to partake of the ‘prashad' on Navami (ninth or penultimate day of the Puja).
 
What started out as a simple affair in a park has become a full-scale theme Puja, in the last few years.
 
"The theme this year is from ‘visarjan' (immersion) to ‘bodhan' (welcome), a reversal where we highlight the immersion first and then go onto the welcoming of the goddess. Usually, the visarjan is tinged with sadness, so we decided to take people back to the beginning of the five days when the entire city looks forward to the arrival of the goddess," Chattopadhyay added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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War remains elusive, political war breaks out in Punjab over border evacuation
The apprehension of an India-Pakistan war may have receded but a full-fledged political war has broken out in Punjab over the central and state governments getting nearly 1,000 villages within 10-km of the international border evacuated following last week's surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Opposition parties and leaders in Punjab are blaming the Union Home Ministry and the state's Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Punjab for unnecessarily building up war hysteria and getting the villages evacuated. 
 
The ruling alliance, led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, is being blamed for doing so to take advantage in assembly elections to be held in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh early next year.
 
Nearly 400,000 perople in the border areas have been asked to evacuate.
 
"There has been no movement bt the Pakistani Army. These days everything can be seen through satellites and technology. Even if a jeep moves, we can see that. The centre and the Punjab government have unnecessarily ordered the evacuation. Thousands of people are being harassed," Punjab Congress president and former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said.
 
Amarinder Singh, a former Indian Army officer who saw action in the 1965 war against Pakistan, being the ADC to Lt. Gen. Harbaksh Singh, a decorated officer who led the swordarm Western Command and turned the tables against the advancing Pakistan Army, alleged that the BJP and Akali Dal built up war hysteria after the surgical strikes to take political advantage in the forthcoming assembly polls.
 
But Badal has a different take on the issue.
 
"Political leaders should shun politics in this peculiar situation. It is unfortunate that several political leaders were continuously politicking at this critical juncture when war clouds are hovering over the country. At this critical juncture, leaders must avoid politics for safeguarding the interests of the country in general and Punjab in particular," Badal said.
 
"The SAD-BJP government doesn't believe in doing politics over the issues concerning unity and integrity of the country. Even my visits to border villages was solely aimed at sharing the grief of their residents and instilling a sense of confidence amongst them. These visits were not even remotely concerned with politics. I am visiting border villages to be amongst the brave people of this region who are ever ready to make any sacrifice for their country but unfortunately my fellow friends do not see anything beyond politics," Badal pointed out.
 
Badal and the district authorities, at some places, have faced the ire of residents of border villages over the evacuation orders.
 
But leaders of the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the newly-formed Apna Punjab Party, are not ready to buy Badal's argument.
 
Several Congress leaders and legislators from border areas, representing various assembly segments from Ferozepur to Gurdaspur, have lashed out at the SAD-BJP alliance over "forcible evacuation of the residents from border villages against their will".
 
"The army continues to remain in peace positions on either side of the border. Captain Amarinder is speaking from his knowledge and experience, having participated in war in 1965 in the same areas," Congress legislators Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Aruna Chaudhry, Sukh Sarkaria and Parminder Singh Pinky said in a joint statement.
 
"While we reiterate our support for strong measures against Pakistan, including surgical strikes, for instigating and abetting terror activities in India, there was no need for evacuation of the border residents," the Congress leaders said, adding that there was no evacuation during the 1965, 1971, and 1999 Kargil Wars or even during Operation Parakaram (2001-02) -- when the Indian Army mobilised in the wake of the attack on parliament.
 
The Congress leaders pointed out that Badal had to face the public wrath in the border villages as the residents did not want to move out.
 
"Better ask your leader as how he was treated by the angry villagers in several villages as they do not want to move out. The BJP is trying to raise the war hysteria for Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections," the statement said.
 
Reacting to Amarinder Singh, Punjab Education Minister and senior Akali leader Daljit Singh Cheema said his remarks were "aimed at creating mistrust between the Indian Army and the people of the country".
 
Seeking an "apology" from Amarinder Singh, Cheema said that such things should not come from a former army officer when the forces were engaged in dealing with Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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