S&T for Women
WOMEN TECHNOLOGY PARKS
Women Technology Park is a technology modulation and a training centre to show case livelihood and scientific technologies for women. The objective of Women Technology Park is to promote development and adaptation of appropriate technologies, transfer of proven technologies and demonstration of live technology models to promote women employment. It recognizes the likely remuneration of an improved and structured mechanism for showcasing technologies to the rural areas. The scope of concern of Women Technology Park is as “linkage” between rural women farmers/entrepreneurs and the innovators/ researchers/ scientists.
It is a center established in the women farmer’s community to create an environment and attitude so that the scientist-cum-technologist can extend the recent developed methodology that can be adopted and practiced by rural women at their own work farm/place to establish their own micro-enterprise to become entrepreneur and self-reliant. The Women Technology Parks showcase the proven technology on profitable dairy farming, profitable poultry farming, profitable sheep and goat farming, profitable fish farming, vermi-composting, floriculture, mushroom cultivation, smokeless chullah, biogas technology, floriculture, vermiculture, compost preparation, bee-keeping, fisheries, soil management, low cost bio-fertilizer production, coir mat preparation, fruit and vegetable processing, herbal cosmetics, etc. It improvises rural women farmers on processing of value added products of the things which grown more in there cultivated land or area. Processing of raw material (milk, meat, egg, fish) into products (dairy products, meat products, egg products and fish products) can not only increases the cost multiple times but also enhances the shelf-life and functionality of the products.
The aim of Women Technology Park is to create awareness among rural farming community and give trainings of proven technology to obtain maximum benefits from their existing resources. Its objective is to make them aware about “processing” that can enhance their income multiple times. It will also facilitate rural women in providing backward as well as forward linkages that ensure the marketability of their produces. Based on their keen interest and they can able to join hand on training programmes where these trainees get start up grant to start their following activities and can set up their own micro enterprises to become self-reliant and entrepreneur with the help of village panchayat and other known government schemes.
Need of Women Technology Parks
India is growing country with the contribution of science and technology intervention. India consists of different states with different geographical and topography levels. Many states in this country is tribal inhabited state where there is no huge factories, building and laboratory where an individual can engaged in work which uplift their source of income and livelihood pattern. They only depend on the traditional cultivation which becomes hard to sustain now days due to climatic conditions. Inaccessibility, illiteracy and absence of technological development are the other factors that add to its backwardness of the state. Land is major resource in the economic sector considering the fact that agriculture is the epicenter of development in the country. It is the greatest source of income in rural states. According to Indian State of Forest Report, India covers 24.56 percent of the geographical area of the country. Area-wise, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (85.41%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%), Meghalaya (76.33%), Manipur (75.46%) and Nagaland (75.31%). These states also contain rugged topography. So the life of the people is very hard, they even can’t shift the cultivation.
Though the social status of male and female are almost same, but females share the major responsibility of the family. Besides heavy domestic works like cooking, pounding of rice, collection of firewood and wild vegetable, weaving for family, tending animals, fetching of water, females share the major work in the field, like clearing of the forest, weeding, sowing, harvesting, etc. Climbing hills with heavy loads, collecting firewood and vegetable from deep forests are risky and taxing tasks for vegetable from deep forests are risky and taxing tasks for females. So here, life of woman is made more pathetic. Women empowerment is the necessity of the hour as no community will be developed if both genders of the population are not moving with equal pace. To overcome this difficulty, government is making an attempt through Women Technology Parks to empower women through inputs of science and technology and to promote development and adaptation of appropriate technologies, transfer of proven technologies and demonstration of live technology models to benefit women and upgrade their livelihood status.
Objectives of Women Technology Parks
- To upgrade indigenous knowledge/technology prevalent in the country.
- To organize interactive meet of women entrepreneur on one hand and financial institution and market representatives/agents on other.
- To create awareness on the technologies on priority areas
- To empower women through inputs of science and technology.
- To promote development and adaptation of appropriate technologies, transfer of proven technologies and demonstration of live technology models to benefit women
- To act as a resource centre which provides all necessary support from a single platform for improving the living condition of the women
- To reduce their drudgery, improving health and environment and by providing opportunities for income generation
- To create awareness, provide training on appropriate technologies leading to skill upgradation.
- To provide network for income generation through micro enterprises
Status of Women Technology Parks
Number Of WTPs
Jammu & Kashmir
- Agriculture (agricultural practices & women friendly tools and equipments)
- Health & nutrition
- Animal husbandry
- Fisheries and aquaculture
- Health and sanitization
- Energy conservation
- Livestock and natural resource management
- Tissue culturing
Scope of WTPs
- Technology Development
- Technology Promotion and Demonstration
- Technology Improvisations
- Capacity Building and Skill Development
- Income Generation
- Livelihood Creation
- Market Linkages
- Institutional Linkages
- Overall Enhancement in Quality of Life
The following priority areas have been identified:
- Specific science and technology application program to solve the problems of women in different regions such as hill, coastal and arid; Research and development on post-harvest technology and agricultural implements used by women to improve productivity and reduce drudgery
- Improved practices for occupational health and enhanced production in technology areas where women form a majority of the stake holders sericulture, aquaculture, etc;
- Research, development and demonstration program to minimize occupational hazards of women in domestic, agricultural and organized and non-organized industries;
- Design, fabrication and improvement of equipment, accessories, tools and machineries used by women in different occupations in formal and non-formal sectors.
- Up-gradation of traditional skills for utilization of available local resources and providing means for women to enter into the organized sector or for starting entrepreneurial production or service units.
- Enhancing capability of women in modern industries particularly in electrical and electronic technologies;
- Women's Health issues: - Nutrition, non communicable diseases, prevention strategies for communicable diseases; and
- Selective studies on issues concerning women scientists and engineers.
- Drying and value addition of flowers and making value added products from medicinal plants, millet, mango, jack fruits, probiotic fermented foods and guava for sustainable livelihood development.
- Farm animals (pig, duck) rearing, biogas production and poultry farming.
- IT assisted designing and printing of the digital images by using computer graphics and ICT & CAD for food processing and health awareness
- Training given on the Primary health care of new health assistance through public health software for better management of non communicable diseases like hyper tension and diabetes.
- Health education (use of the bio-resources, scientific knowledge and computer education) and skill development e.g. agricultural and allied practices like mushroom cultivation, smokeless chullah, biogas technology, floriculture, vermiculture, compost preparation, bee-keeping, fisheries, soil management, low cost bio-fertilizer production, coir mat preparation, fruit and vegetable processing, herbal cosmetics, making traditional paintings etc. (to improve the economic conditions of women) all is linked to ensure a quality life for women.
- Post-harvest food processing and energy management in agriculture for human resource development and capacity building.
- Coir Pith Composting; Coconut shell and husk based technologies, Organic formulations for pest and disease management; Oil extraction technologies from natural resources like medicinal oil preparation, virgin coconut oil, bamboo products, low cast hatchery and low cost sanitary napkins production for Livelihood upgrading of rural women.
- Livestock farm waste utilization, Soil management, Seed selection and climate smart technology.
- Microbial seed-biopriming technology for vegetable seed germination, crop growth and protection; development of biofortified organic products and application techniques for the fortified compost in crop production.
- Biomass dryers and brick production technology.
- Making products like bracelets and hair pins which will ensures the safety of women in the surrounding.
- Low cost poly houses and shed net house for vegetable production & Nursery development.
- Eco-friendly construction technologies like MSR Roofing, Stabilized earthed tiles, including materials like fly ash and stone dust.
Highlights and Achievements through Women Technology Parks
- Sewing Machine for Differently-disabled women has been designed in such a way that persons devoid of lower limbs also can operate the powered sewing machine without the need for pedalling.
- Production of exotic flowers through greenhouse cultivation.
- Interventions in Handloom and Handicrafts which Introduced of "Asu" making machine in weaving for drudgery reduction (dubbakasarees and/or gollabama motifs).
- Making fuel pellets from the rural biomass like sugarcane residues, rice straw, cotton stalks, etc. using cow dung as the binding material which can be used by the Industries to reduce pollution.
- Development of modified filature for silk spinning.
- IT assisted designing and printing of the digital images by using computer graphics and ICT & CAD for food processing and health awareness
Challenges for providing Backward and Forward Linkages
- Lack of marketing facilities
- Lack of cooperation from bank officials
- Insufficient loaning from districts banks for pursuing activities
- Farm women and self-help groups should developed strong linkages between food industry, retailers and exporters for marketing their value added and processed product.
- The main problem faced by the organization or institutions who are engaged to train rural women is that after leveraging the help of DST, they couldn’t manage their SHGS.
Steps for sustaining the WTPs
- Material support for the infrastructure
- Relaxation in sanctioning loan
- Arrangement of raw materials at reasonable price
- Arranging equipments and machineries at subsidized price
- Easy process in sanctioning loan
- Make linkages with the government scheme called “Scheme for creation of forward and backward linkages” to provide effective forward integration for processed value added products.
- Form the linkages support from The Serviced Based Local Service (SBLP) and NABARD for taking loan source for running SHGs or microenterprise unit.
- Involve the traders, stakeholders, well established agencies and cooperative board for achieving market success.
- The developmental programmes sponsored by the scientific departments of our country (e.g. DST & DBT) should be extended to 5-7 years rather than a year or two for ensuring significant impact of the programmes, especially for the rural India.
- MahilaKisan Programme should be activated to involve more rural women.
Study of Women Technology Parks in the country
Vigyan Prasar (VP) is a national level organization, dedicated for communicating and popularizing science and technology in the country. The organization caters to different stakeholders, and reaches out to different target groups at grass root level with science and technology communication intervention through various media. Focusing on Women as a target group, VP aims to study WTPs by capturing the capturing the status and the best practices of the WTPs and create awareness about them. The documents will be in the form of a compendium and also in audio-visual medium can help leverage the programme to become a national level movement and expand the network of beneficiaries. It will have multiplier effect in empowering women at grassroot level.
It will also help develop the Women Technology Parks to act as centres for dissemination to spread the success of WTPs. The documentation would help create awareness about the programme so that the success stories can be replicated, exchange of knowledge can take place and more women can benefit from the programme and lead to one step ahead of women empowerment.Study would focus on standard practices to be adopted for WTPs and do an impact assessment for the projects. The Study aims to synchronize the workings of the WTPs with the achievement of SDGs in India.
General Objectives of the Study:
- Study of Women Technology Parks
- Promoting WTPs among people with special focus on women at grassroot level and target groups that need special attention
- Documenting best practices and showcasing success stories.
- Develop WTPs as centers of dissemination for empowering rural women.
- Information clearing house: Contribute knowledge inputs to the site through a web site.
A large number of women including SHGs have been benefitted directly through biotech packages for floriculture, horticulture, cultivation of mushrooms, medicinal and aromatic plants, bio-fertilisers, organic farming, vermicomposting, sericulture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, poultry farming and making of bio-crafts. Several training modules have been prepared by Department of Biotechnology for creating awareness on health, nutritional food preparations and agricultural practices.
1. Agri-biotechnologies - The women beneficiaries were trained on organic farming covering nutrient management through vermicompost, NADEP & other organic manures, use of bio-fertilisers, pest & disease management through bio-pesticides etc.
2. Aquaculture - Development of mangrove based agro aqua farming for restoration of Mangrove ecosystem and providing livelihood was supported at Andaman Islands. Five crab fattening pens were installed at three project sites and two farm model fish feed units were installed at two sites. Four value added fish product development units were also established.
3. Animal Feed - At Kanyakumari, women were provided with the Azolla kit consisting of Azolla seeds, Silpaulin sheet minerals etc and were extensively trained on the production of Azolla-based feed for poultry & livestock. This technology of Azolla feed production for poultry and cattle has been transferred to a dozen local/state agencies.
4. Hybrid Seed Production - Women farmers were trained in TNAU, on hybrid maize seed production covering parental line sowing methods, detasseling, crossing, harvesting F1 seeds, processing and marketing.
5. Prasad Kit - A unique programme was developed around major shrines by utilising local bio-resources for preparation of items of offerings at these places. A total of 15 projects were supported under this programme benefitting around 7000 women.
6. Rural Bio-resource Complex - Seven projects were supported through State agricultural Universities to establish various technology packages in an integrated manner forming a bio-resource complex for women. Such a bio-resource complex has been established at Udaipur, Bikaner, Dharwad, Jorhat, Wayanada (Kerala), Ludhiana and Coimbatore.
KIRAN (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing) embraces women-exclusive schemes of Department of Science & Technology (DST) with the mandate to bring gender parity in S&T through gender mainstreaming. Different programs and components of KIRAN presented below deal with various crucial issues (break in career primarily due to family responsibilities, self employment, part time career, relocation, etc.) faced by women scientists in their career path.
1. Women Scientist Scheme-A (WOS-A): WOS-A is aimed to provide opportunities to women scientists and technologists for pursuing research in basic or applied sciences in frontier areas of science and engineering.
2. Women Scientists Scheme-B (WOS-B): WOS-B is focused on S&T solutions of challenges/issues at the grassroots level for social benefit. Under this segment, women scientists are required to work in the domain of lab-to-land technology development, its adaptation, transfer and scaling up and is primarily location specific interventions.
3. Women Scientists Scheme-C (WOS-C): WOS-C aims to create opportunity of self employment and/or also sustainable career for the women scientists. The scheme provides one year internship in the domain of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) which includes theory as well as hands-on training in law firms.
4. Mobility: To address relocation issue of women scientists/academicians working in permanent position in Government organizations ‘Mobility’ component has been initiated by DST under KIRAN. Mobility’ here is referred to geographic mobility for sustenance and career advancement of Women working in S&T domain.
5. S&T for Women: The program “Science and Technology for Women”, under KIRAN was initiated in 1981-1982 with mandate to promote gender equality and empower women at grassroots level with inputs of S&T through development, adaptation, adoption, transfer, demonstration and replication of appropriate and successful technologies. Since inception, more than 2000 projects have been sponsored and more than 500 technologies have been developed through individual projects, coordinated programmes and Women Technology Parks.