Nearly eight months after he led a group of top Indian business tycoons for an interaction with students in Srinagar, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit Kashmir on June 15 to assess a central government project for empowerment of women.
He will also visit the earthquake-hit areas in Doda. The tour comes ahead of PM Manmohan Singh’s scheduled visit to the state on June 25. Gandhi, who will be accompanied by rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, was earlier scheduled to visit the state on May 28 but cancelled it in view of the lethal Maoist attack on a Congress rally in Chhattisgarh on May 25.
In the Kashmir valley, Gandhi will attend a union rural development ministry function to review the implementation of Umeed, an ambitious project to organise more than nine lakh women under 90,000 self-help groups in the next five years and impart them skilled training.
The scheme had been launched from Khansahib (Budgam) and Lar (Ganderbal) in the Valley and Chenani (Udhampur) and Basohli (Kathua) in the Jammu region on a pilot basis last year and would cover the remaining 139 blocks in the next five years. Sources said the Centre would also announce R900 crore sanctioned by the union Cabinet for Umeed in the state. Initially, an outlay of R755 crore had been earmarked for the initiative with Centre funding 90% of the project and the remaining 10% to be by the state.