Naveen announces free smart phones for women SHGs

Bhubaneswar, Nov 14: To make women digitally empowered in Odisha, the state government has decided to provide free smart phones to all the women self-help groups under Mission Shakti programme.

          Chief minister Naveen Patnaik said on Wednesday that women in Odisha have come a long way,

the next ceiling to be broken is the digital one.

          Addressing a seminar on women entrepreneurship at the Make in Odisha Conclave, 2018 here, the Chief Minister said, “Digital empowerment will further accelerate the socio-political and economic empowerment of women.”

        He said it is his dream to see that every woman has access to

knowledge economy.

As a first step, the government will digitally empower all the six lakh Mission Shakti groups with

a smart phone.

          Stating that women empowerment was something “very

Patnaik said that he was happy that the second edition of the Make in Odisha conclave had focused on women entrepreneurs.

          “No household, no society, no state and no country ever moved forward without empowering its women,” he said during his address.

Patnaik said as soon as he took over in 2000, he started Mission Shakti as a project in 2001, which has transformed into a movement with 70 lakh women, 6 lakh groups, Rs 5,000 crore savings and Rs 2,000 crore   annual bank exposure.

          He claimed almost every second household has a member in Mission Shakti.

The State he said has had the highest drop in maternal mortality rate. Our infant mortality rate is better than the national average. Our institutional delivery is a record 90

per cent.

          “My government honours their sincerity by providing

SHGs loans at one per cent  the Mission Shakti loans, he

said urging the bankers to meet the credit requirement of Mission Shakti groups in a dignified and professional manner.

          On the political empowerment of women, Patnaik said his government has increased representation of women to 50 per cent from the earlier 33 per cent started by his father and former chief minister Biju Patnaik.

          “Whenever my government has made an initiative whether Mamata or Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana or the land rights, the state always runs the extra mile for women,” he said.

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