“India has moved from women development to womenled development in the last nine years.” These words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi sum up the state of women empowerment during his Government since 2014.
Addressing a post-Budget webinar on economic empowerment of women,, PM Modi noted that results of efforts for women empowerment are visible and “today we are witnessing a great revolutionary change in the social life of India.”
This year’s Budget will give a new momentum to the efforts of womenled development, he said, adding that the enrolment of women in the fields of engineering, science and technology today stands at 43 per cent.
The Prime Minister pointed out that around 70 per cent of beneficiaries of the Mudra loan were women’s selfhelp groups. “In this year’s Budget we have unfolded the vision of making unicorns in self-help groups too.” The Prime Minister said these women were not only increasing the earnings of their families but also opening new economic avenues for the nation.
“India can move forward only by raising the levels of respect for women and the sense of equality,” he underlined.
The number of women compared to men is increasing, and the number of girls studying up to high school and beyond has tripled in the last nine to ten years. “In fields like medicine, sports, business or politics, not only the participation of women has grown, but they are leading from the front, he said.
The Prime Minister highlighted different Government schemes that have contributed to the development of women.
The PM Awas Yojna has given women a new voice in the economic decisions of the household. Similarly, women have benefitted from collateral-free loans under SVANidhi and promotion schemes in animal husbandry, fisheries, village industries, FPOs and sports.
He also mentioned the Bank Sakhi, Krishi Sakhi and Pashu Sakhi programmes that are scaling new dimensions of development in villages. The PM pointed out that today one out of five non-farm businesses is run by a woman.
The Prime Minister dwelt upon the transformation in the cooperative sector and the role of women in it. More than 2 lakh multi-purpose cooperatives, dairy cooperatives and fisheries cooperatives are to be formed in the coming years. A target has been set to connect 1 crore farmers with natural farming. Women farmers and producer groups can play a big role in this.
“India can move forward only by raising the level of respect of women and the sense of equality. I call upon all of you to move forward with the determination to remove every obstacle coming in the way of all women-sisters-daughters,” he said.
The PM concluded by quoting from the article of President Droupadi Murmu, which she wrote on International Women’s day. The President wrote, “It is up to us, each of us, to hasten the progress. Thus, today, I wish to urge each of you to commit yourself to one change, in your family, neighbourhood or workplace, any change that would bring a smile to a girl’s face, any change that would improve her chances of moving ahead in life. That is one request, as I said before, straight from the heart.”
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