KOCHI: The State employment department has given shape to a self-employment programme named �Saranya for destitute women.
The benefits of the scheme would be available to jobless destitute widows who had registered with the employment exchanges, women who had been left alone by their husbands, those legally separated, women aged above 30 years and still remaining spinsters, and unwed mothers from Scheduled Tribe communities.
It is also aimed at lending assistance to women who had to take charge of their wards and extended family in the event of the death of their husbands, or in cases where the husbands leave them to fend for themselves or just disappear.
Though individual endeavours were being given prominence under the programme, group entrepreneurial initiatives would also receive assistance. A beneficiary would be eligible for a maximum loan of Rs. 50,000 and it would be extended up to Rs. 1 lakh depending on the nature of the proposed initiative. While assistance up to Rs. 50,000 would be given free of interest, help above it would attract an interest rate of 3 per cent.