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Women empowerment vital to ensure economic stability

By: Faizan Bangash

LAHORE: Economic prosperity in South Asia can only be ensured if women of the region are empowered and imparted training to utilise their skills in all sectors, including trade and industry, said JN Vohra, secretary general of the North India Management Association.

Speaking to The News on the sidelines of Pakistan India Management Summit held under the aegis of Aman Ki Asha, JN Vohra, a well-known technocrat and an expert of various aspects of manufacturing industry, technology and management said that it was really important to make use of the potential that women of South Asian nations possessed.

To a question, Vohra said that it was really a welcoming sign that women in Pakistan had shown considerable progress and active participation in different fields during the last many years, adding that same was the case with India, where as compared to the past, a lot of improvement had been witnessed. ÒThey had shown enthusiasm to work in all sectors, which was really a very encouraging sign,Ó he added.

However, he believes that a lot still needs to be done and women must be empowered and trained to tackle different challenges. For that purpose, political leadership of both sides should take all possible measures.

According to him, the role of women is very vital in addressing the challenges, such as poverty, unemployment, the difference between haves and have-nots, faced by the people of South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan.

To a question about the initiative of Aman Ki Asha, Vohra said that the effort to improve ties between both the sides was really healthy and a very important step to maintain people-to-people contact in both sides.

Vohra, who was born in 1944 in Gujranwala, a city of Pakistani central Punjab, recalled the days when his family had to migrate to India. ÒIt was 1947. I was just two-and-a- half years old when we shifted to India. My parents and my family have a lot of memories here,Ó said the distinguished Indian guest.

Vohra further said that his father had also served as President Lahore High Court Bar Association in the pre- partition time and in Lahore, his relatives possessed a house which was still situated at the Mall. ÒAll this seems very appealling to me whenever I think of it,Ó said Vohra.

He said there was a very wide scope of the home industry in both sides of the border and many clans of Punjabi families, who migrated to Indian Punjab from the city of Gujranwala, opened industries there and even their present generation was following the business.

He said the hosiery industry based in Ludhiana was earning billions of rupees per annum for the country and this was the continuation of the projects initiated by those who migrated to this part from Gujranwala at the time of partition.

All this shows the high-level of talent possessed by the people of these two sidesÓ said Vohra. He said it would be a very positive development in history if people from both sides come closer and work for the economic prosperity of this part of the world, which constitutes almost one-fifth of the population.

The political leadership and even the private sector of both sides should find new ways to explore opportunities for the people which would benefit the region,Ó he added.

Currently, he serves as secretary general of North India Management Association and has also been a member of the technical committees on textiles, and Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi.He is also a former project consultant of State Bank of India, Project Uptech, retainer consultant of North India Technical Consultancy Organisation Limited, Chandigarh.

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