Women’s Empowerment in Himachal Sets Example for Sri Lanka’s JICA Project; Sri Lankan Delegation In Himachal for JICA Project

Dharamshala – In a significant step towards international cooperation and development, Himachal Pradesh is set to become a model for the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) forestry project in Sri Lanka. A delegation of 11 representatives from Sri Lanka, including members from various ministries and JICA India’s Project Formulation Advisor Inagaki Yukari, embarked on a two-day tour of Dharamshala and Palampur to study the successful implementation of the JICA project in Himachal.

The Sri Lankan team arrived on Wednesday and was welcomed by Chief Project Director Sameer Rastogi and Project Director Shrestha Nand Sharma. Officials from PMU Shimla and DMU Dharamshala were also in attendance. The first day of the visit included a program in Kareeri, Forest Division Dharamshala, where the Sri Lankan representatives were introduced to the various facets of the JICA project, focusing on livelihood improvement, women empowerment, and self-employment.

The delegation was particularly impressed by the work done by women involved in self-help groups under the JICA project. Praising their efforts, the Sri Lankan team engaged directly with these women and representatives of the Gram Van Vikas Samiti, discussing the work being done in Sri Lanka under JICA.

The visit also included a tour of the JICA marketing outlet in Gopalpur, where organic products under the Himtradition brand, including Himachali caps, shawls, pickles, and other items, were showcased. The Sri Lankan team lauded the quality and variety of these products, with Inagaki Yukari commending the Himtradition brand for its excellence.

Chief Project Director Sameer Rastogi provided a comprehensive overview of the project’s activities to the Sri Lankan delegation. Additional perspectives were shared by CCF Dharamshala E. Vikram and DFO Dharamshala Dinesh Sharma.

This visit underscores the potential for Himachal Pradesh to serve as an exemplar for similar projects in Sri Lanka, particularly in areas like women empowerment and organic product marketing. The exchange of knowledge and best practices between the two regions promises to foster stronger international ties and mutual development.

The two-day tour highlights the achievements of the JICA project in Himachal Pradesh and also sets the stage for future collaborations that can lead to sustainable development and empowerment in both regions.