Govt wants to more than double village-level women entrepreneurs

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 08, 2018 Published on March 08, 2018

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Union Minister for Textiles and Information & Broadcasting Smriti Irani at the inauguration of the workshop on ‘Stree Swabhiman: CSC initiative for promoting women’s health and hygiene’ on International Women’s Day, in New Delhi on Thursday   -  PTI

The government seeks to more than double the number of women village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) in the coming year. There are 46,597 women working as VLEs through the Common Service Centres (CSCs) across the country right now.

“Today, we have 47,000 women VLEs across India. I want to see their numbers grow up to more than one-lakh in our country,” Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law & Justice, said here at an event.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Prasad and Smriti Irani, Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Textiles, inaugurated a workshop on ‘Stree Swabhiman - A CSC initiative for promoting women’s health and hygiene’.

The workshop showcased the impact and progress made by the women VLEs in promoting women’s health and hygiene among the poor and marginalised communities in India, through the CSCs.

Appreciating the efforts of women VLEs, Prasad said, “Ensuring women’s presence at the forefront of ‘Digital India’ would result in a new social order where women would play the role of ‘Change Agents’ in building a society free of any discrimination. Digitally empowered women can bring a paradigm shift in encouraging and empowering rural communities.”

Stree Swabhiman project

He also appreciated the women who have set up sanitary napkin units under Stree Swabhiman project, in advancing women’s health and hygiene in rural areas, apart from enhancing women’s empowerment.

Addressing around 700 VLEs from across the country, Irani said, “Women empowerment, especially for those living in rural India, is an integral component of our government.

“The government has framed the guidelines for menstrual hygiene in the country.”

Mentioning VLE Snehlata Devi’s initiative ‘Chuppi Todo, Sayani Bano’ among the Banjara community, Irani said, “Women VLEs are the first respondents of governance. In the last three years, more than 16 crore women opened bank accounts through Jan Dhan Yojana. Similarly, due to MUDRA Yojana started by our government, 7.80 crore women became entrepreneur in our country.”

Exhibiting solidarity with ‘women agents of change’, Irani promised to visit CSC run by a woman VLE near Bengaluru on March 11. “I would be privileged to have a cup of tea at your enterprise,” she assured.

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Published on March 08, 2018
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