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COVID-19 has posed myriad challenges for people from various walks of life, but not Ms. Manjot Dhillon, the new Chairperson of Amritsar Chapter of FICCI FLO, for whom ‘challenges are a way of life’. Going by her beliefs, trials lend spice to life and encourage a diligent vitalizer to overcome hurdles and work for the welfare of others, egging them on to follow suite thus contributing his own success as well as that of others.

Therefore, undeterred by the ravages of the visitation, she and her feisty band of HERstory Makers of FICCI FLO Amritsar, have come up with avant-garde and inclusive initiatives aimed at the empowerment of women from rural backgrounds as well as those lodged in the jail under their proposed initiative ‘Umeed Ka Tana Bana’.

These HERstory Makers included driven and empowered women, whose self-motivation has not only enabled them to attain greater heights in their personal and professional lives, but is also the force behind the success and the potential accomplishments of many other women.

Ms. Manjot Dhillon leads the bandwagon of these committed professionals by virtue of her hold over the city’s academic scenario in her capacity as the Director, Mount Litera Zee School, Amritsar. Her institution is deemed among the top 50 co-educational schools of India. FLO’s efforts at empowerment of women have the caught the attention of Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore and Congress MP Preneet Kaur, who have not only felicitated Dhillon for taking over its reins, but have also lauded the good work being done by it for the enablement of the underprivileged women of Amritsar.

 Dhillon shared her goals for 2021-22, which include rural development, creating awareness about their legal rights and duties among underprivileged girls and women and provision of infrastructure for imparting skill-based education and training to them besides bringing sustainable livelihood opportunities right at their doorsteps and replenishing the city’s depleting green cover by teaming up with renowned environmentalists of Amritsar.

 In keeping with ‘awakening’ its theme for 2021-22 and in pursuance of its aim of empowering women to enable them to lead a decent lifestyle, the Amritsar Chapter of FICCI FLO, led by Manjot Dhillon, proposes to light up the lives of female jail inmates by volunteering to teach them the nuances of weaving ‘Panja Daris’ and ‘Khes’.

Called ‘Umeed Ka Tana Bana’, the initiative aims at channelizing their minds and energies in a positive direction, besides equipping them well-enough to adapt to an acceptable way of life post their stint in jail. Besides this, FLO intends to empower rural women through skill development, education and awareness drives. Hence, it has decided to adopt six villages called FLOpind or the FLO villages.

Giving details, Dhillon said these villages include Baulian, Bedi Channa, Bua Nangli, Kotla Sultan Singh, Attari and Mudhal. There’s a traditional touch to this initiative with FICCI’s distaff division aiming at the revival of the traditional art of Phulkari, through its initiative called FLOkari. “The initiative aims at bringing sustainable livelihood opportunities for women right at their doorsteps,” she said.

She maintained that the construction of a state-of-the-art skill development centre in Gumtala, to impart training to underprivileged women in multiple skills like tailoring and stitching, handloom weaving, salon, pickle making and incense making, was a project close to the hearts of all FLO members. “Adoption of an ITI to scaffold the growth of the underprivileged girls is a project close to our hearts. We have collaborated with the tourism department to curate a Tourist guide course for ITI girls with the help of GNDU,” she added.

Ms Dhillon further said that FLO has always acted as a custodian of environment and in consonance with its vision the organization will work actively to promote conservation of environment and increasing green cover. “We’ll be working on multiple projects with the eminent environmentalist Mr Rohit Mehra and Mrs Geetanjali Mehra who are known as the Green Couple, to make our city greener,” she asserted.

About the author:
Shaheen P. Parshad

Shaheen P. Parshad She holds a master degree in journalism and mass communication. She has worked as a journalist in national English dailies and currently works as a public relations professional.

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